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Criminals turn their attention to Twitter

Simon Quicke

Twitter is firmly in the sights of hackers with the social networking platform seeing a hike in malicious activity as criminals start using it to spread malware.

The social networking site continues to grow in popularity with more of its users becoming active and according to the latest annual security report from Barracuda Networks this activity has attracted criminals.

The firm has noted a 20% increase in the Twitter crime rate with attackers distributing malware and exploiting vulnerabilities according to the vendor.

"After decreasing at the end of 2009, the Twitter crime rate increased 20% from the first half of 2010 to the second half of 2010," the vendor stated.

The survey also highlighted the continuing focus that attackers have on Google with the search engine turning up almost twice as much malware compared to Bing and Yahoo!.

The amount of malware being found on the web on a daily basis has also shot up by 55% with one in five searches leading to a problem.

"Attackers focus on where they can get the most eyeballs and profit, and today that means social networks and search engines," said Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer at Barracuda Networks.

"As a community we often point to the need for user education as the missing component; however, the levels of social engineering involved in today's attacks suggest that we must continue to elevate our technological approaches," he added.

"The research community must continue to build innovative defenses and the industry must make efforts to increase the deployment rates of those defenses," he concluded.


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