I just read two security articles with some interesting implications when you take them together. The first noted that anti-virus software, while still vitally important to your computer, only stops 35-40% of malware attacks – down from about 47% last year. The second described a “sexy Candid Camera Prank” attack being currently launched against Facebook users.

In this Candid Camera Prank attack, someone posts fake video message on your profile page showing a woman on a bicycle in a short skirt. Clicking the movie thumbnail does not display the video but instead takes you to a Facebook application that tries to get you to download a “video player” which is really the old Hotbar adware. If you do fall for it, not only are you flooded with spam and other junk but your Facebook account is now used to spread the infection to your friends.

The interesting thing about putting the two articles together is that the hackers are no longer just trying to attack your computer directly. Sure, many still use old-fashioned scripts and viruses that try to directly attack your computer. But more and more have largely moved their attacks to social media. Their attacks depend more on you to fall for a trick, giving them an inlet to your network. Facebook, MySpace and other social media sites are very powerful and important tools but the same things that make them valuable to you also make them easy avenues to use for attacks against you.

Having a good anti-virus program and keeping it up to date is still vitally important. Even though the ratio is down, there are still hundreds of attacks against the average computer every day. But for the new attacks, vigilence and paranoia are the word of the day. No matter how good your technical defenses are, you can not rely on them alone.

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your suspicions.

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