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The Other Side of Facebook’s IPO

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It may be big news, but it’s not exactly news. Likely the only people who didn’t know it was coming are two Bushmen in Tanzania and some San Quentin cons stuck in solitary. Yes, it has arrived. Facebook has filed to go public.

The IPO, or Initial Public Offering, is for $5 billion. And, according to CNBC “[t]he company is currently looking at a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, which would be one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history.” Oh and one more thing. Again according to CNBC, “[t]he current winner in the race for Facebook equity, with nearly $500 million, is Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, head of investment group DST.”

This is the kind of nuts and bolts you can read about anywhere.

Now, here’s something that’s really news. As Facebook goes public, the public’s privacy just goes.

Of Facebook’s latest move, ThreatMetrix’s Chief Products Officer, a highly-respected industry security expert, Alisdair Faulkner, says, “You can’t put a value on your privacy, but with Facebook filing for an IPO you can now put a price on your friends. That may just become the rallying cry that privacy advocates need to force greater government intervention.”

“Unfortunately, Facebook and its advertisers aren’t the only ones making money from this social network,” continued Faulkner. “Users have come to feel Facebook is secure and they can trust it to protect both their personal data and that of their friends. Hackers are taking advantage of that misplaced trust.”

“In January alone, 45,000 usernames and passwords were stolen by Ramnit malware and the traditionally banking-focused Trojan, Carberp, started targeting Facebook users to trick them into handing over e-cash,” said Faulkner.

A BBC story on the cybertheft reported security researchers saying, “We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to login into victims’ Facebook accounts and to transmit malicious links to their friends, thereby magnifying the malware’s spread. They added that “cybercriminals are taking advantage of the fact that users tend to use the same password in various web-based services to gain remote access to corporate networks.”

Faulkner notes that “Twitter’s recent acquisition of Dasient, the anti-malware company, is an acknowledgement that social networks are not only a goldmine of personal data for hackers, but the best malware distribution platform ever invented.”

ThreatMetrix
By ThreatMetrix Posted