Sign of the times
"Social networking spam may be more dangerous than regular old spam because it creates a trust factor not available through blindly sending out mass e-mail," says Garth Bruen, creator of software called Knujon, which classifies and tracks spam. By mining social networks, he says, criminals can get access to personal details such as where a person lives, where they go out to drink, or what movies they like. "It is very good intel for establishing trust with strangers," he says. Though Bruen notes that working within a social network costs spammers more resources than traditional methods, he believes the payout could be much bigger.