Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/3/2012
03:12 PM
50%
50%

How To Spot A Fake Facebook Profile

Check out these telltale characteristics of the phony Facebook 'Friend,' courtesy of Barracuda Networks.

Want to know who your real Facebook Friends are and are not?

Turns out there are some common characteristics of the fake Friend, according to new data revealed Thursday by Barracuda Networks. For one thing, it's likely a female: Some 97% of fakes pose as women, while about 40% of real Facebook accounts are women, said Paul Judge, chief research officer at Barracuda, here at the Kaspersky Lab Security Analyst Summit in Cancun, Mexico.

"Fake users can take over your account, spam your wall and feeds," Judge said. Many of these profiles are automatically generated, aimed at making money off of affiliate campaigns or spam-related scams: They spread phony ad campaigns for free gift cards from Starbucks or other trusted brands, he said.

A typical Facebook fake profile starts out by joining a group, such as a college network, in a large metropolitan area (think: population) and then shoots out friend requests to its members. They are all about luring new friends, and Barracuda has gathered some of the common traits of these fakes, such as their profile information and activities.

They hedge their bets: For example, 58% of fake Facebook accounts say they are interested in both men and women, while only about 6% of legitimate accounts say the same. In addition, phony profiles tend to stand out due to the sheer volume of their "Friends." On average, they boast 726 Facebook friends, while real users have about 130 Friends on the social network. Nearly 70% of the posers claim to have attended college, while about 40% of legitimate users' profiles include college educations.

There's plenty of evidence of automated generation of these fake profiles, too.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

It's no longer a matter of if you get hacked, but when. In this special retrospective of news coverage, Monitoring Tools And Logs Make All The Difference, Dark Reading takes a look at ways to measure your security posture and the challenges that lie ahead with the emerging threat landscape. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Bprince
50%
50%
Bprince,
User Rank: Ninja
2/4/2012 | 12:06:34 AM
re: How To Spot A Fake Facebook Profile
Very interesting. I am assuming most pose as women because guys will fall for a pretty face. Did the fake profiles come with any kind of messages, and did they target people with similar backgrounds as they one they created (same college, job type, etc)?
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
Microsoft Word Vuln Went Unnoticed for 17 Years: Report
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  11/14/2017
Companies Blindly Believe They've Locked Down Users' Mobile Use
Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  11/14/2017
New Locky Ransomware Takes Another Turn
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  11/10/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Managing Cyber-Risk
An online breach could have a huge impact on your organization. Here are some strategies for measuring and managing that risk.
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.