Not all Facebook threats are hoaxes…

…though I did describe Facebook as the natural home of hoaxes, in a blog referring to an article for SC Magazine in which I described a very specific hoax. However, if you came across that reference in an article by Jay Decenella, you could become very confused.

Delcenella includes the quote, totally out of context, in an article on responses to a survey carried out by our friends at Websense which has nothing whatsoever to do with the "money bags" hoax I was describing. Since he doesn't link to the article and doesn't even mention the hoax, you might well get the impression that I'm claiming the Websense survey is incorrect, or that the people who responded to the survey were mistaken.

Actually, the finding that 52% of respondents felt that increased use by their employees of social media had resulted in an increase in attacks from malware seems to me both interesting and significant, and I'm grateful to Decenella for bringing the survey to my attention. It turns out to have been a study carried out on Websense's behalf by the Ponemon Institute, published here.

However, I have no idea why the article uses a totally unrelated quote that misrepresents my views to make it look as if I disagreed with a survey I hadn't even seen at that point. Unintentional, no doubt, but somewhat upsetting.

In case you're in any doubt, let me be clear: one of the problems with social media is that social network messaging is being used to spread hoaxes and chain messages. However, there are many all-too-real threats that also use social networks to spread, and it's a good thing that people are aware that such threats are increasing.

David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
ESET Senior Research Fellow

Author David Harley, ESET

  • dharleyatESET

    What speculation? I published an article about a specific hoax and you quoted it in the context of a survey that had nothing to do with the article. You didn’t link back to my article so that people could see that one article had nothing to do with the other..

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