Monday, April 14, 2008
Orkut: Beware of Spammers and Click safely
Orkut, google's answer to Myspace and Facebook in the social networking arena, has recently got me really really frustrated. Orkut is a popular social network among Brazilians and Indians, who account for more than 80% of the site's traffic.
Coming from a company like google, one would expect high standards of security and privacy controls, but the recent exploits are sadly discouraging.
Orkut is overflowing with spam and XSS attacks. They seem like friendly scraps, which ask you to click on some links or paste some code on your browser address bar to see something cool. This runs a java script which gets access to your contacts and private data, and then rest is to left to the attackers creativity. One recent spam I received was like this
Now if you receive this from a really good friend, you would be excited to know, which girl he is referring to. So I clicked to see her profile. On her profile, she mentions of this mystery friend of hers and asks you to copy and run a code, to see his (her friend's) profile.
For interested folks, this scraps all your friends with the exact message that you received. Sometimes it amuses me how people have so much spare time, to do such creative stuff.. and people like me have to write about them. But in retrospect, it's dangerous and I hope google does something to fix this. There can be far reaching implications like identity and credit card thefts. My suggestion to people, view the source/link of anything that you click on or you might regret that click, all your life. Play Safe and Click safe :)
Here is an interesting community that teaches and practices such exploits and bugs on orkut.. Bugs on Orkut