A new messaging system could have serious security implications

Facebook’s new messaging system may have serious security implications, experts have warned.

The social-networking site’s new system brings together instant message chat, Facebook messages and SMS, with many fearing that hacked accounts could be used to create Web 2.0 botnets.

“Facebook accounts will now be linked with many more people in the users’ social circles - opening up new opportunities for identity fraudsters to launch attacks,” said internet security firm Sophos.

Spam – including “malware lures” and survey scams – can be sent across Facebook using compromised accounts, with users more likely to trust links sent from Facebook friends.

Facebook is the world’s most famous social-networking site with over 500 million users online, and is increasingly utilised by companies.

While Gmail and Hotmail usage by employees far exceeds Facebook messaging, usage has grown from 0.2 per cent to three per cent over the last two years.

However, it has been reported that 54% of companies have already banned Facebook usage during working hours – but the danger of viruses spreading through companies’ networks remain.

Sophos has put together a guide, which can be found here, designed to deal with potential threats posed by Facebook’s new messaging system.