Facebook’s new online messaging service makes users of the social networking site more vulnerable to identity theft by cybercriminals, computer security firm Sophos warned Thursday.

According to the AFP, it urged users to be aware of the security risks before signing up for Facebook’s next-generation online messaging service that blends online chat, text messages and other real-time conversation tools with traditional email.

“Users need to realise that these new features increase the attack surface on the Facebook platform, and make personal accounts all the more alluring for cybercriminals to break into,” said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.

“Facebook accounts will now be linked with many more people in the users’ social circles — opening up new opportunities for identity fraudsters to launch attacks,” he added in a press statement.

Sophos noted that fraudsters are increasingly using hacked Facebook accounts to send spam messages — compared with traditional emails — because they are more likely to be opened by recipients lured to think the messages came from friends…

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About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.


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