ALERT: Facebook Photos Become Security Problem

If you haven't opted out of photo tagging suggestions on Facebook, this article will make you want to: Photos have become the newest way for malware and spam propagators to distribute their nastiness.

If you haven’t opted out of photo tagging suggestions on Facebook, this article will make you want to: Photos have become the newest way for malware and spam propagators to distribute their nastiness.

Opting out of that only removes your name from the suggestions that Facebook makes when someone tags photos, but there’s no way to completely shut off photo tagging, and that’s why rogue application developers have made this part of Facebook their newest frontier.

And that’s why Tim Senft, owner of Facecrooks, thinks the social network ought to provide a way for users to entirely shut off photo tagging — going beyond just opting out of tag suggestions. He told me in an email that he wants people to suggest this to Facebook, and we agree with his idea.

We hope it’s only a matter of time before his suggestion becomes a reality on the social network. After all, Facebook’s security team doesn’t lie when it claims to have reduced spam by 95 percent. But the site is just like any other online: The moment one problem gets eradicated, spammers and hackers discover another vulnerability.

In the mean time, be wary of photos that have a large number of users tagged but don’t actually include them in the photo, and with a URL as part of the caption below. That characterizes the photo scams that Senft had identified this weekend, including one that revived a meme used in spam campaigns, “How much time have you wasted on Facebook?”

Like we’ve observed with malware campaigns involving chat, embedding nefarious links in photo tags and captions makes these rogue applications harder to find by searching the site — all the more reason we hope you will join us in asking Facebook to crack down on this recently discovered vulnerability.

Readers, what do you think about the fact that photos have become the newest security frontier on Facebook?