Threats that come along with SNS websites
Monday September 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm CST
Posted by Yang Zhang
1. SNS websites introduced
With the Web 2.0 trend, more Social Networking Services (SNS) websites have become very popular. For example Facebook and Myspaces are well-known.
You can keep contact with others via SNS websites; you can find many many friends. Many people participate in small games, virtual applications and so on. Those SNS websites have millions of unique visitors per day. It is a platform used to share files, music, information and so on. Also the platforms are used to spread viruses and worms. If a attacker spread a virus, trojan or worm via SNS websites, then many many users can be infected in a short time, which could be disastrous.
In the following sections I will talk about how to reduce the threat that comes along with SNS websites.
2. SNS website lead to threats
Nowadays, more attackers utilize SNS websites. They can easily create a zombie network via an SNS website vulnerability. They can use harvested private information for financial gain.
3. General attack ways
Attackers maybe used the following methods of attack:
a) Exploit a server vulnerability
For example: buffer overflow, weak password, database vulnerability and so on.
b) Exploit a script vulnerability
For example: SQL injection, Cross-site scripting, upload file problem and so on. In general, Cross-site scripting attacks have a wide use. A CSS worm can be get million of user cookies in one hour; and also lead million of users to an infectious virus.
c) Exploit an ActiveX vulnerability
If an ActiveX vulnerability is present, attackers are likely to target it. In general, attackers exploit ActiveX overflow vulnerabilities to install malware.
d) Used of Social Engineering Fundamentals
It’s well-known that Users of SNS websites trust each other, so Social Engineering Fundamentals work well on SNS sites.
4. Attacks Case
a) Facebook and Myspace have had ActiveX-related vulnerabilities in the past.
b) In 2006, MySpace was hit by a XSS Worm. The worm uses a malicious QuickTime video.