A Sophos poll of over 1000 people has revealed that more than
95% believe that Facebook should follow Apple's example and
security-check all third party apps running on the site.
Sophos's survey follows a summer of malicious apps, causing
havoc on Facebook, compromising hundreds of thousands of users'
profiles and spreading virally across the network.
"Facebook is much more than a social networking website, it's a
platform with over half a million active applications running upon
it," explained Graham
Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Inevitably
some of these applications are written with malicious intent -
designed to steal information, spread virally, or spam unsuspecting
Facebook users. Anyone can write a Facebook application, and it can
be made available to the site's over 500+ million users without
vetting. It's no wonder we see so many malicious attacks by rogue
Facebook apps every day."
"Apple has successfully run a 'walled garden' on its iPhone App
Store, meaning that only approved apps are allowed to be run on the
iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch," continued Cluley. "Although some
people may not appreciate the level of control that Apple has over
what apps you can run on your device, it certainly has been
instrumental in keeping malicious hackers and malware off the
Every day, Sophos sees new malicious apps on Facebook, that are
happily spreading on the social network, compromising users'
profiles and stealing information. Clearly Sophos's poll
respondents feel it's time that Facebook put in place compulsory
verification systems for third-party applications, to help prevent
More information about the threat posed by rogue Facebook
applications can be found on Graham
Source: Sophos online survey, 1025 respondents, October