arti|October 20 2010 |
Facebook has recently announced a new feature that is claimed to give users an additional method to keep their social networking account secure. Facebook claims that its new one-time password feature will make it safer to use Facebook on computers in public places such as hotels, cafes or airports - as users can now request to receive a temporary password by SMS message which expires after 20 minutes.
But contrary to this, IT security firm Sophos warns that the one-time password feature could in fact result in further security concerns for users. Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos, said, "If you believe a computer might not be secure in the first place, why would you use it to access personal accounts such as Facebook? A temporary password may stop keylogging spyware, giving cybercriminals a permanent backdoor into your account, but it doesn't stop malware from spying on your activities online, and seeing what's happening on your screen.”
"Furthermore, if you're anything like me, it's likely that you've mislaid your mobile phone from time to time. If someone else can gain access to your phone and send a text message, your Facebook account will be unlocked."
Offering some tips to users, Sophos states never visit websites like Facebook from computers that may not be running adequate anti-virus software or security patches. If you don't trust the PC, don't use it to access Facebook - even if you do have a temporary password. "Instead, wait until you have access to a trusted PC, rather than risking sharing your personal information with unknown others. There's a real danger that the one-time-password system will be viewed as a green light by Facebook users to access their accounts from unsafe PCs."