Reports are circulating of yet another malware scam targeting Facebook users. The sheer size of the social network, combined with the inherent trust users place in messages from friends and family through Facebook make it a prime target for malware attacks to exploit.
The security analysts at AppRiver report that they are detecting a new malware campaign targeting Facebook. The campaign tricks unsuspecting users into thinking the message is coming from Facebook. The e-mail appears to be an official Facebook notification indicating the reader can reconnect with friends, but the message is full of malicious links. Clicking on one of the malicious links will then redirect them through several different Web sites and load malware onto their computer through a hidden iframe exploit.
So, what's the big deal? Is this Facebook malware attack any different than every other malicious attempt to exploit social networks? An AppRiver spokesperson explains "What's unique here is that this virus campaign is also hitting smartphone devices (specifically BlackBerrys at this time) that have the Facebook application/icon installed. In other words, it's not just utilizing email, but also triggering the application itself to make the campaign more believable."
As previously announced, Adobe has released an out-of-band update for Reader and Acrobat that addresses vulnerabilities revealed at the Black Hat security conference last month. The update is rated as Critical and should be applied immediately to affected systems.
According to a post on the Adobe Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) blog, "The updates address critical security issues in the products, including CVE-2010-2862 discussed at the recent Black Hat USA 2010 security conference and vulnerabilities addressed in the August 10 Adobe Flash Player update as noted in Security Bulletin APSB10-16. Adobe recommends that users apply the updates for their product installations."
Adobe also stressed that it is not aware of any exploits in the wild for the any of the issues addressed in this security bulletin, and that this release does not affect the date of the next scheduled quarterly update--which remains October 12, 2010.
Like current social location-based check-in services, Facebook Places lets people share where they are, see which friends are in the local area, and discover new places by following where others from their social network have checked in. The real value of services like Foursquare has been the integration with Facebook and the ability to share the check-in details with the broader social network, so Facebook Places seems like a natural evolution of the concept.
When asked at the Facebook Places launch whether or not the new service would be integrated with business pages on Facebook, Zuckerberg and company sort of dodged the question. The Facebook gang indicated that Places will be added to any pages that make sense, though, which essentially amounts to a "yes".
Mobile workers have been able to sync Google Docs to the iPad and have access on the go even without a live network connection using the Memeo Connect app, but iPhone users were out of luck. Now, Memeo is launching version 2.0 of Memeo Connect--including an iPhone app extending the Google Docs capabilities to the popular smartphone.
Spencer Chen, director of corporate communications for Memeo, described the hurdles to developing the iPhone version of Connect. "It's hard to believe, but iPhone support had a hard time making it onto our roadmap due to the many commitments to our partners, such as Google, Western Digital, Seagate, Netgear, and most recently Sony. But we couldn't ignore our users...they were screaming for iPhone support."
Aside from introducing an iPhone version of the app, Connect 2.0 also adds new features and capabilities to the Memeo app. Connect can now perform Google-powered searches of the full text of Google Docs content. The app also now provides a "download all" Google Docs option, as well as the ability to cancel all uploads.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt fears that too much information is shared online, and predicts that people will one day change their name and reinvent themselves in order to escape their digital past. That point of view might be extreme, but it is true that social networking has forced us to more closely examine and redefine the concepts of privacy and identity.
There are many exciting benefits to the evolution of the Web and the rise of social networking. Facebook and Twitter have enabled people to reconnect with friends and family, and provide a platform for sharing information and staying in touch. The real-time aspect of social network status updates has also transformed online search and breaking news.
The problem is that social networking also provides a very powerful tool for embarrassing yourself or ruining your reputation on a global and virtually eternal scale. Once you put it online, it is shared around the world in seconds, and can still be recalled after decades.
Editor's note: We have removed a reference to Cell for Cash from this story due to user complaints about the service.
Like a new car that plummets in value once you drive it off the dealer's lot, electronics are worth less the moment you slip them out of the box. The bad news is, there's nothing you can do about tech depreciation.
The good news is, you can probably find a market for the gear you no longer want. Unloading spent gadgets can put cash in your pocket that you can reinvest toward the latest technology.
Instant Quotes, Simple Shipping
BuyMyTronics, Gazelle, and NextWorth are competing services that offer cash or credit for an array of electronics. Each Website displays an immediate price quote once you describe the condition of the item you're selling. Although I saw plenty of information for Apple computers on these sites, I couldn't find quotes for a ThinkPad laptop. Some of the products I looked up weren't listed on NextWorth at all.
After you click to commit to a sale on one of these sites, you need to mail in the gear via prepaid shipping that arrives at your door. The service adjusts the quoted price if the item doesn't match your description. When the transaction is done, you get payment via check, PayPal, or a store gift card.
Selling on eBay
If you're already an eBay aficionado, selling electronics there could be convenient and may return a higher price than what you can get elsewhere. In recent weeks the Kindle 2 sold for $120--or, loaded with books, for up to $209. The site is likely a time sink, however, if you're a first-time user who hasn't built up a reputation or learned the ins and outs of online auctions.
In any case, research on eBay can give you an idea of a product's fair market value. You can use the advanced search function to scour completed listings for what people paid in the end for items, versus the list prices, which often differ wildly. You'll have to sign in to view the results, which cover only the past 15 days.
Facebook recently expanded the "Like" feature, allowing users of the social networking site to "like" individual comments to a given post, and expanding the application of the voting system to other sites. Now, a malware scam is circulating that exploits the demand from Facebook users for its antithesis--the "Dislike" button.
The Like button, and the ability to Like Facebook pages are popular tools. The Like feature provides a framework for users to help promote good content by voting for it with the Like button. However, many users wish they could also police bad content by giving it the thumbs down with a Dislike button.
The Facebook Dislike button scam works the same as many other viral messaging scams on Facebook. It eggs the recipient on by teasing--or imploring depending on the wording--that the Facebook friend has downloaded the "official DISLIKE button" and provides a link to download it and be part of the in-crowd.