Malicious programs are rampaging through social-networking web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, spreading themselves by taking over people’s accounts and sending out humiliating messages to all of their friends and followers, reports the New York Times. The result is that people are inadvertently telling their co-workers and loved ones how to raise their IQ or make money instantly, or urging them to watch an awesome new video in which they star. "I wonder what people are thinking of me right now?" said Matt Marquess, an employee at a public relations firm in San Francisco whose Twitter account was recently hijacked, showering his followers with messages that appeared to offer a $500 gift card to Victoria’s Secret. The humiliation sown by these attacks is just collateral damage. In most cases, the perpetrators are hoping to profit from the referral fees they get for directing people to sketchy e-commerce sites. In other words, even the crooks are on social networks now–because millions of tightly connected potential victims are just waiting for them there. Often, the victims lose control of their accounts after clicking on a link "sent" by a friend. In other cases, the bad guys apparently scan for accounts with easily guessable passwords…

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