Security firms warn that the popularity of social networking makes it a preferred target for Hackers seeking vital individual data. ‘It ‘s been a pretty bad week for Social networking in general,’ said Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro.

Facebook has been hit by five separate issues in the early week of the month. By creating fake messages padded with details of Facebook members, hackers are capitalizing on the trust and social links that drive the networks. The rogue applications on Facebook tries to steal saleable information from the profiles of those who open it. One malicious application tried to trick members into adding it by claiming that their contacts were having problems looking at their profile. If the application is added, it spam itself to every Facebook friend the member has.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at anti-virus software developers SOPHOS, in a Blog post stated, ‘ that one of the problems of social networking sites, Facebook in particular, is that it allows anybody to write applications and such third party apps are not vetted for, before they are released to the public. It’s a growing trend, though surprisingly, it took so long before social networking sites are targeted.

Security Issues Worries Social Networking Sites

OAuth is an open standard for online authentication. It enables a user who stores information such as a password on a particular Web site to then authorize yet another site to access that data, whereas the user's identity is never shared with that site.

It allows developers to create third party apps that can access a user’s account information without requiring them to hand over their log-in credentials. Before now, Twitter applications have required users to enter their usernames and passwords.

Twitter's OAuth interface is now open to all developers, enabling more secure access to the service via its application programming interface from third-party Web sites according to an announcement by Twitter's API leader, Alex Payne.

Twitter's OAuth Now Open To All Developers

Facebook has introduced a new public profiles for celebrities and organizations in a redesigned Homepage. According to a post on Facebook Official Blog, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO - explained that the changes were necessary as the need to find relevant and recent information has grown. However, the move is seen by many as an attempt to compete with the real-time messaging offered by Twitter.

"The new home page will let you see everything that's shared by your friends and connections as it happens," Zuckerberg explained. Also noted are changes in the grammatical restructuring of Facebook status messages. Previously, Facebook user status messages had to begin with the user's name. Users had no choice but to make themselves the subject of their messages, a stricture that contributed to the site's association with frivolous activities.

Unlike Twitter, users can follow what other Twitter users say without forcing the followed person to reciprocate. Whereas, FaceBook still imposes a two-way friendship model, where both parties need to agree to be friends.

The revised Facebook Pages, offers public profiles designed for famous people and organizations, making them more like individual profiles, with a comment Wall and status updates. Among the public figures with Facebook Pages are U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, singer Britney Spears, and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The redesigned Facebook is billed for launch next week, albeit, the preview has been made available.

Facebook Undergoes A Facelift - Mimics Twitter