Phishing attacks on social networking sites increased more than 240 percent compared to the same time last year, just behind attacks on payment services, which jumped a whopping 285 percent versus the first quarter of '08. "They exploit the trust one user has with another [on a social network]. There's a tendency to open up something from one of your 'friends' on these sites," says Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer at MarkMonitor. "This is the biggest innovation in phishing attacks since RockPHISH, and it's more social than technical exploitation. RockPHISH was an infrastructure play, but this is using someone else's infrastructure to spread the badness."
The good news, however, is that social networks are relatively quick to shut down phishing attacks on their sites, Felman says.
It is good news that social networks are clamping down quickly. But what this ultimately means is that the attackers are going to adapt their tactics. And, I expect, these trends will become more pronounced as a result:
1. Highly-targeted "spear" phishing attacks will become even more common.