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Facebook Becoming Malware Magnet, Experts Warn

Popular college social networking website Facebook attracts thousands of developers wanting to enrich its functionality. But in the process it has become a magnet for malware, according to experts from the security firm VeriSign.

"The potential is there, and all the framework is there," Ryan Olson, an analyst for VeriSign's iDefense malicious code operations, told the ZDNet Australia news service.

In its privacy statement, Facebook now warns its users, "... You use such developer applications at your own risk."

Olson and Rick Howard, director of intelligence at VeriSign, said a the greater problem is users' openness with personal information on Facebook-like forums. "They seem to have no sense of privacy," said Howard.

He added that the "intoxicatingly interesting" nature of social networking is inherently at odds with best practices.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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