August 13, 2012, 10:32 AM — Facebook wants to fight back against phishing attacks targeting its users, so it is asking users to begin forwarding any suspicious emails they receive.
Facebook has set up an email account to collect info on phishing attacks. If you receive a suspicious email message, Facebook asks you to forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This new reporting channel will compliment internal systems we have in place to detect phishing sites attempting to steal Facebook user login information," Facebook wrote in a post describing the effort. "The internal systems notify our team, so we can gather information on the attack, take the phishing sites offline, and notify users."
Security has become a big deal for Facebook in recent months. In July, the site was updated to automatically alert users whose computers were infected with malware, and to lock their Facebook accounts until the infected computers were properly cleaned.
Back in April, Facebook partnered with security and antivirus companies to offer free six-month trial downloads of antivirus software.
Facebook wants to protect its users as well as itself. Attackers spread malware via social networking sites, and there is evidence that the number of attacks targeting Facebook and other social networking sites is increasing.
A recent study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group found that six percent of all phishing attacks in the first quarter of this year targeted social networking sites. Adding to this, Facebook itself has admitted that 83 million of its nearly one billion accounts are fake, some of which may be used for suspicious activity.
"Together we can help keep these sites off the web and hold the bad guys responsible," Facebook says.