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Social networkers are at risk from spies

Ira Winkler speaks at RSA Conference in London
Tue Oct 11 2011, 17:41

SOCIAL NETWORKERS are at grave risk from spies, according to security expert Ira Winkler.

At the RSA internet security conference in London today, Winkler said, "People are placing sensitive information all over the internet. Coworkers and best friends could be the people who screw you the most.

"If you know the hardware and software of the system then you know how to hack that system."

Winkler added that developing relationships with people on social networks like Facebook that you have never met makes the risk bigger still. He said, "Social networking is a treasure trove. Every aspect of your life, interests, family and employer are available. People leave traces showing their vulnerabilities."

He cited the example of Linkedin, where people who are looking for jobs will ask their friends to 'recommend' them, so it's obvious to any employer who looks.

Four Square, Winkler said, is "even worse" as it shows where you are. "You can watch someone travel across the country and rob their house," he said.

Winkler added, "Everything is becoming a public record. What about Facebook apps? It uses data about you even when your friends use it.

"Facebook's timeline is like a gold book for criminals, anybody can pretend to be anybody."

According to Winkler, spies targeting an organisation choose a person who "is vulnerable". He said, "People like the Chinese intelligence can go into Linkedin, target the company, target the person and go in. All it needs is one bad guy in the organisation to get the information." µ


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