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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bleak Findings for Web Security in Symantec Report

The notion of web security is looking more like a contradiction in terms, according to the annual threat security report issued April 5 by Symantec. The report says daily web-based attacks increased 93% from 2009 to 2010 and that social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are particularly vulnerable.

Attackers use the popular social media sites to distribute malware because users trust messages they think are coming from friends. The Symantec report estimates that nearly 17% of all links posted to Facebook actually connect to malicious software. In addition, 65% of links that have used URL-shorteners were malicious—and 75% of those bad links were clicked on at least 11 times.

Mobile devices are not yet being targeted as often, but that could change soon as smartphones turn into electronic wallets with the use of near-field communications. This could prove a particularly troubling trend on college campuses as schools look for ways to make payment methods easier for students.

“The biggest issue right now is the false sentiment of security people have when using social networks or when installing smartphone apps,” says Catalin Cosoi, head of BitDefender’s Online Threat Labs, in an article for TechNewsWorld. “Since these services or devices are represented by known international institutions, they believe that they are safe.”

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