Defenses lacking at social network sites

Friday, 2 January 2004, 7:19 AM EST

Brad Fitzpatrick is president of LiveJournal.com, a social discovery Web site where over 1.5 million users post diary entries they want to share with friends. Although members post extremely sensitive information in their journals -- everything from their plans to commit suicide or sabotage their boss to their latest sexual adventures -- Fitzpatrick admits that security on his site isn't a priority.

On the initial login page, LiveJournal members send their passwords in the clear. "We're hoping to change that in the next month," Fitzpatrick said. "But site performance is our highest priority, and SSL is a pain."

Jack (not his real name) is an LJ user whose account was compromised. He isn't sure how it happened, but one day he logged in and discovered a huge portion of his journal entries had been deleted.

By Annalee Newitz at SecurityFocus.

[ Read more ]




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