Opinion: Web 2.0 means a lot of fuzzy things, and they're opportunities for the bad guys too. One new social networking site is a poster child for the abuse of social networking.Business is business, but some things are dishonest, and dishonest usually gets away scot-free on the Internet. You can learn a lot about what legitimate looking sites are capable of, and what ordinary users are willing to do when asked, from the example of Tagged. Tagged is one in a flood of new social networking sites targeting teenagers. Theyre all MySpace wannabees, and perhaps some of them are harmless, but Im going to focus on Tagged. It first got my attention several weeks ago when I got about six e-mails in rapid succession from her. They were obviously auto-generated invites to join a site and said "[my friends name] has added you as a friend on Tagged," and "Please respond or [my friends name] may think you said no :(". I could tell right off something phony was going on, but I still had better things to do, so I passed, and my friend was apologetic about it. I wasnt the only one who got the e-mails. Web 2.0 represents multiple transitions in the manner of using the raw material of the ubiquitously connected public network. Click here to see a video about the business of Web 2.0.
Then I read this blog entry from Symantec and it explained how my friend might have gotten hit: "...when a user signs up for Tagged, theyre practically forced to put in their Webmail credentials. Tagged then logs into your Webmail account as you, accesses your address book and prompts you to e-mail your contacts using your Webmail address as the reply-to." At this point, I have to figure the phenomenon is maybe bigger than I thought and decided to do some testing.