Report: Facebook and Twitter Most Unsafe Social Networking Sites in 2010

From Google to Foursquare and Facebook, no social networking site escaped the wrath of privacy in 2010. Just as social media exploded, so too did privacy breaches and privacy as a hot topic, as any consumer, congressman or Mark Zuckerberg can attest. But now the official results are in: Facebook and Twitter were the social networking sites most affected by security breaches in 2010. What happened, and what's next?

From Google to Foursquare and Facebook, no social networking site escaped the wrath of privacy in 2010. Just as social media exploded, so too did privacy breaches and privacy as a hot topic, as any consumer, congressman or Mark Zuckerberg can attest. But now the official results are in: Facebook and Twitter were the social networking sites most affected by security breaches in 2010. What happened, and what’s next?

The findings come courtesy of Internet security company PandaLabs in its just-released “2010 Annual Security Report.”

The company warned that, overall, social media sites have become a “perfect working environment” for cybercriminals because Internet users, for now, place more trust in these sites than other online tools, like email.

In awarding Twitter and Facebook the dubious distinction of standing out from other networking sites security-wise, the report stated, “There are several techniques for tricking users: hickjacking Facebook’s “Like” button, stealing identities to send out messages from trusted sources, exploiting vulnerabilities in Twitter to run javascript code, distributing fake apps that redirect users to infected sites, etc..”

And, using those cyberattacks launched on Facebook and Twitter in 2010, PandaLabs also warned users of what’s to come.

“In 2011, not only will hackers continue to use these networks, but it is predicted that they will also be used more for distributed attacks,” the report said.

The company also warned of more “blended threats” in 2011 that would occur when a cyberattack strikes first through e-mail but then spreads to social media and the web.

The 2011 warning from PandaLabs is just the latest in what experts predict will be a bumpy year for Internet users and social networking executives alike.

Internet security company Proofpoint Inc. recently forecasted that at least one major social media site will experience a significant security breach in 2011, a likely outcome considering that nearly 23 percent of time spent online by Americans is spent on social networking sites.

From our archives, here are five more privacy alerts to watch in 2011.