Bebo Users Beware of Spammer Created Accounts
Article by George Norman
On 03 Nov 2008
The social networking phenomenon is going stronger by the day, with sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Bebo leading the pack. It is a well known fact that the ones in front are the most exposed to things such as media comments and criticism, and spam attacks. It’s not just Bebo that the spammers are targeting; Google Blogspot and Apple MobileMe are in the crosshairs as well.

According to the latest MessageLabs intelligence report, entitled “Fall Harvests: Spooky Spam, Frightening Phish and Creepy CAPTCHA Cracking”, some 30,000 phony Bebo profiles have been registered last month alone. What effect does that have on Bebo account holders? The most obvious effect is that you will get a lot of requests from other accounts that want to connect with you. There is no one that actually wants to become your Bebo buddy, it is just the handiwork of some spammer.


“The buddy requests appear genuine as they are from the real social networking site and consequently their headers are intact and correct. Moreover, the email addresses attached to the profiles are also valid, albeit they have been created fraudulently. Often, the only visible clues may sometimes be the random arrangement of letters in the user name portion of the email address,” says the MessageLabs intelligence report. The worst thing is that for an anti-spam filter to pick up on this it would have to tell the difference between a genuine request and a fake request, and they are not very well equipped to do so.

How do the spammers manage to be successful? The first step is to fraudulently register email accounts by the bucket loads. The second step is to use those email accounts in combination with CAPTCHA breaking technology and register tons of Bebo accounts. If the spammers do not have a means to automatically bypass the CAPTCHA safety feature, a viable option is to outsource: find computer users that are willing to get paid to enter CAPTCHA codes all day long.

Tags: Bebo
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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