Study: From Fakes to Facebook Friends

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In a recent research Barracuda Networks released some findings of their study „Facebook: Fake Profils vs. Real Users“ which analyzed a random sampling of 2,884 active Facebook accounts. The idea of the study was to identify key differences between average real user and fake accounts which are coming form attackers and spammers.

As of their popularity in terms of personal and business communication, Facebook is consistently fighting attackers on their network in order to save their real users from spam or even worse attacks. According to their own stats Facebook has less than 4% of content shared on their network marked as spam. By comparison we could use some stats from Symantec which found that 74% of spam comes from email – however this will be filtered before it comes to our inboxes. Nevertheless, Facebook is in a lawsuit with a marketing firm that they accused of „spreading spam through misleading and deceptive tactics“.

These are some interesting findings of the Barracuda Networks study.

Fake accounts have..
…more friends than real users – six times more!
…use more photo tagging – over 100 times more!
…claim to be bisexual – 10 times more than real users!
…claim to be female (97%!) – only 40% for real user!

„Likes, News Feeds and Apps have helped lead Facebook to its social network dominance and now attackers are harnessing those same features to efficiently scale their efforts. These fake profiles and apps give attackers a long-lived path to continuously present malicious links to innocent users.“ Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer at Barracuda Networks

The study was done with Barracuda Profile Protector tool and illustrates how attacks and spam on Facebook are structured to undercuts real „friendships“ concept and trust of widely-used applications. So, marketers and private people should watch out and check before friending an account. No matter if you are more addicted to Facebook or Twitter than smoking and drinking…

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