Web 2.0 spectre flags fraud risk

The outbreak of phishing attacks on MySpace has put social networking sites firmly on the security radar.

The outbreak of phishing attacks on MySpace has put social networking sites firmly on the security radar.

For a while there have been concerns not just about the possiblity of phishing attacks and identity fraud but also the sheer amount of time being wasted.

Along with the possibility that malware might be placed on MySpace sites following the discovery of planted content on R'n'B singer Alicia Keys' page, the channel has been advised to talk up the issues around social networking sites.

David Hobson, managing director of GSS, said bandwidth was also a significant issue causing headaches for customers.

"The least you should be doing as a customer is monitoring it. There is a time-wasting element but also a risk to bandwidth," he said.

But he warned resellers should not resort to the "fear uncertainty and doubt" sales approach.

"Security should be an enabler not [sold in the traditional way] where security was always seen as the things that has stopped people doing things," he said.

A Barracuda Networks survey said 50 per cent of its customers were choosing to block MySpace or Facebook because of concerns about spyware and staff productivity.

In a statement Dean Darko, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks, said companies had to apply more restrictive controls to ensure productivity increased.

One source said that one multinational customer that had been running tests to monitor employee use of social networking sites had been staggered by the number of hours being wasted.

"Even after two months it added up to tens of thousands of lost hours that should have been spent working," she said.

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