Social media is often used to infect the computers of users with malware. Malware is also delivered to mobile devices. Symantec identified 286+ million varieties of malware, which was used to conduct over 3 billion attacks on computers. Web attacks increased 93 percent last year, when compared with 2009.
Facebook is a main target. Symantec pointed out problems with the security of Facebook, specifically an app that used Facebook APIs,that allowed hackers to see personal profile information. Privacy breaches resulting from malware hacks resulted in 260,000 online identities being compromised.
Shortened URLs also carry risk for malware sharing, since users click on them without knowing the website to which they will be directed. In a three month study, shortened URLs made up 65 percent of malicious URLs.
Smartphones, especially those using the Android operating system, are also at risk of malware. Risk of hacking will increase as more people use their Smartphones for online banking and making purchases on the Internet.
Source: Symantec Corp., Internet Security Threat Report, Vol. 16