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Social networking games increase spam, phishing by 50%

Posted on Saturday, April 03 2010 @ 20:00:21 CEST by

BitDefender claims that gaming applications increase spam and phishing by more than 50 percent on social networks:
While most users of social networks are somewhat selective in who they add to circle of friends – filtering out those they suspect to be spammers – gamers often willingly add suspicious friends in an effort to expand their player community. Some entertainment apps require users to amass a large number of friends and supporters in order to attain high scores, prompting players to add people they might not normally add.

The most "successful" spammers are those that copy existing profiles.

BitDefender researchers created fake accounts to test this theory – one with no photo and few details, another with a photo and limited information, and a third with a photo and detailed personal information.

BitDefender used these profiles to subscribe to a generic interest group. After an hour, the first profile made 23 connections, the second made 47, and the third made 53. When BitDefender subscribed to social games groups, however, the acceptance rate increased. After 24 hours, the first profile had 85 connections, the second had 108, and the third had 111 connections.



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