07 Feb 2012

Spotting a fake Facebook profile

One big internet security breach on Facebook is the number of scammers and fake profiles that appear only to try and infect other users with malware and other viruses. Barracuda Labs, a group that studies internet security, did a study on the differences between real account and fake accounts.

“Likes, news feeds and apps have helped lead Facebook to its social network dominance, and now attackers are harnessing those same features to efficiently scale their efforts,” said Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer at Barracuda Networks. “These fake profiles and apps give attackers a long-lived path to continuously present malicious links to innocent users. Also, researchers have shown how friending malicious accounts can lead to account takeover using Facebook’s trusted friend account recovery."

Statistics from the study include that almost 60 percent of fake accounts claim to be bisexual (10 times more than real users), they usually have six times more friends than real users, and they almost always (97 percent) say they are female to get more male users. Only 40 percent of actual Facebook users are female.

The report also said that fake accounts take more than 100 times more photos than real users. Fake users on Facebook are one big reason why people need to secure themselves with antivirus software to be safe.