Facebook Users Vulnerable to Scammers’ Graph Search Abuse
Several tech-savvy people got a good laugh out of Facebook’s new Graph Search feature after revealing answers such as ‘Married people who like Prostitutes’ or ‘Mothers of Jews who like Bacon.’ “A phishing pool”, “a social engineering nightmare” or “a public embarrassment” – these are just a few of the warnings the media and security specialists have sent in the last days.
Facebook users are vulnerable to scammers’ Graph Search abuse, as the new feature of the social network is also being tested by cyber-crooks. Spammers are the first to have a blast with the revealing search results, as Viagra and other ‘pharmaceutical’ e-mails may be sent directly to the most susceptible users.
Our recent queries in the Graph Search revealed Microsoft employees who like Anonymous, married woman who like the prostitutes community, and other inquisitive results such as the list of all Bitdefender single people who like cheese.
Tips and tricks
Besides the funny time you can have with the tool, think about revising your attitude towards security and privacy. Deciding who can check your profile, what information is public, and reviewing your compulsive “like” behavior has never been more important.
Parents should also review the personal data their kids share on the social network, as Facebook admits “minors can appear in search results.” The information may be targeted by online and offline criminals for nefarious purposes.
Malware writers count on the female allure to spread scams such as “Lost all the respect for Miley Cyrus after watching this video” or “Baby please check my Facebook profile”. Be careful not to fall into the likejacking trap, as the ‘like’ scammers grabbed from your account could end up in the Graph Search, where it’s easily associated with your marriage status and your employer.
Revise your privacy choices, as they determine what’s searchable or not, and who can search for you. Go to http://www.facebook.com/me/favorites and set privacy limits to your ‘likes.’
Remember to install a free application such as Safego that creates a safe social media environment, protecting you from scams and devious e-threats in real time.
Facebook revealed the new search feature in an attempt to help people find others who are interested in the same things such as restaurants, music or cities. Though Graph search results respect users’ privacy settings, these are set on public, by default.