Facebook and Twitter threaten cyber security in 2010

Cyber criminals

Tech security specialist McAfee has predicted that popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will be major platforms for cyber crime throughout 2010.

In its 2010 Threat Predictions report, the company said that the bad guys will specifically target users of social networking sites and third-party applications who will be more trusting of clicking onto links through these sites than in other online situations.

With Twitter specifically, McAfee believes the abbreviated URLs will help to hide any sinister sites that may be otherwise detectable.

"Over the past decade, we've seen a tremendous improvement in the ability to successfully monitor, uncover, and stop cyber crime," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a statement.

"We're now facing emerging threats from the explosive growth of social networking sites, the exploitation of popular applications and more advanced techniques used by cyber criminals."

However, Green still concluded that the company was "confident" that 2010 will be successful for those involved with cyber security.

Other potential problems that the whitepaper warned of included the increasing use of HTML 5, offering new avenues for malware writers, a continued targeting of Adobe Reader and a rise in the volume of banking Trojans.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.