How can you tell if a Facebook account is fake? Barracuda Labs is on the case.
Barracuda Labs analyzed 2,884 active Facebook accounts to determine the differences between authentic ones and fake pages created by scammers and spammers.
Among the findings are:
- 97 percent of fake profiles are created using women’s names, and 58 percent claim to be interested in both men and women.
- The fake profiles averaged 726 friends, while the authentic ones averaged just 130.
- 15 percent of the actual profiles had no status updates, while that figure soared to 43 percent for the fakes.
Barracuda Networks Chief Research Officer Paul Judge said:
Likes, newsfeeds, and apps have helped lead Facebook to its social network dominance, and now attackers are harnessing those same features to efficiently scale their efforts. These fake profiles and apps give attackers a long-lived path to continuously present malicious links to innocent users.
Also, researchers have shown how friending malicious accounts can lead to account takeover using Facebook’s trusted friend account recovery (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/facebook-privacy-improves-2011-10). We have analyzed thousands of fake accounts to determine features and patterns that distinguish them from real users, and created a feature-based heuristic engine to distinguish real users from fake profiles.