A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about a MSN/Windows Live Messenger Phishing site that was making its way around to people. In the comments, someone mentioned that they had a “dumb” moment and fell for it. The only way I could think to respond was, “sometimes these things happen to the best of us” and they do. You try to be on guard at all times and do what it takes to keep yourself protected from viruses, scams, and phishing attempts, but sometimes it just happens. It even happens to the security professionals!
Yesterday at the Black Hat conference going on in Las Vegas, researchers reported on how they were able to get security professionals to let their guards down. They pointed out that even though the pros tell Internet users over and over to be careful, and that mens on social networks too, sometimes you just get fooled. What they did was set-up fake profiles of other “well-known security pros” on a social networking site ( they didn’t specify which one). According to the AP, “a relatively simple ruse persuaded dozens of prominent security analysts to connect on their social networking pages with people who weren’t friends at all. They were fake profiles, purportedly of other well-known security pros.”
The problem with friending these people is that others are able to do harm on social networking site by posting malicious code on other’s pages or posting links to harmful sites. The AP says, “Some social networking sites can be dangerous because they allow people to post programming code — used for good or evil — on other people’s pages. Even networking sites that don’t allow that step carry their own security risks, because it’s relatively easy for someone to masquerade as a “friend” who isn’t actually friendly — and recommend malicious Web sites to click on.”
Had these profiles been created by someone who intended to do harm instead of researchers trying to make a point, these security professionals could have found themselves clicking on links to malicious sites.
We’ll let you decide the moral of the story…