SOURCE: Barracuda Networks

Barracuda Networks

March 10, 2010 08:00 ET

Twitter Makes Its Red Carpet Debut for Celebrities and Criminals

Barracuda Labs Launches New Security Information Portal, Reveals Only 21 Percent of Twitter Users are 'True Twitter Users'

CAMPBELL, CA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2010) -  Barracuda Networks Inc., a leading provider of security, storage and networking solutions, today released its Barracuda Labs 2009 Annual Report, revealing data from three areas: Twitter trends and tracking, Web threats and trends, and email spam and viruses. The report is available at the company's newly launched security research portal at http://barracudalabs.com.

The report drills down into 2009's fastest growing social networking application Twitter, and reviews growth drivers, usage trends and the overall Twitter crime rate. Barracuda Labs analyzed more than 19 million Twitter accounts, both legitimate and malicious, for frequency and content of tweets, user-to-user interactions, and each account's overall activity level.

Key highlights from Twitter's Red Carpet Era - Celebrities and Criminals include:

-- Only 21 percent of Twitter users are actual True Twitter Users1.

-- Overall, users are becoming more active on Twitter.

-- 49 percent of Twitter users, and 48 of the top 100 most followed Twitter users, joined during the Twitter Red Carpet Era2, indicating the significant impact celebrities have on the social networking landscape as they bring their real-world fans over to Twitter.

-- The Twitter growth rate spiked at 21.17 percent in April 2009 due to the Twitter Red Carpet Era.

-- During the Twitter Red Carpet Era, the Twitter Crime Rate3 increased 66 percent, and continued to escalate reaching 12 percent in October 2009, indicating one in eight accounts created was deemed to be malicious, suspicious or otherwise misused and subsequently suspended.

"In this report, we highlight some of the shifts in user behavior and the resulting attacker trends across messaging and Web," said Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer at Barracuda Networks. "As social networking, and specifically Twitter, becomes more ingrained in everyday business, it is crucial to understand the nature of attacks happening on these sites, as well as how users and networks can be compromised."

To review the complete Barracuda Labs 2009 Annual Threat Report and the company's newly launched security portal, please visit http://barracudalabs.com.

About Barracuda Networks Inc.
Barracuda Networks Inc. combines premise-based gateways and software, cloud services, and sophisticated remote support to deliver comprehensive security, networking and storage solutions. The company's expansive product portfolio includes offerings for protection against email, Web and IM threats as well as products that improve application delivery and network access, message archiving, backup and data protection. Coca-Cola, FedEx, Harvard University, IBM, L'Oreal, and Europcar are among the more than 100,000 organizations protecting their IT infrastructures with Barracuda Networks' range of affordable, easy-to-deploy and manage solutions. Barracuda Networks is privately held with its International headquarters in Campbell, Calif. For more information, please visit www.barracudanetworks.com.

Resources:

-- Download the Barracuda Labs 2009 Annual Report at http://barracudalabs.com/downloads/BarracudaLabs2009AnnualReport-FINAL.pdf 

-- View the Barracuda Labs security research portal at http://BarracudaLabs.com

-- Access the Twitter's Red Carpet Era blog post at http://blog.barracuda.com

-- Follow Barracuda Labs on Twitter at @barracudalabs

Footnotes:
1 -- 'True Twitter User' is defined as a user that has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people, and has tweeted at least 10 times.

2 -- 'Twitter Red Carpet Era' occurred from November 2008 to April 2009, when many "celebrities" -- from actors and athletes to musicians and politicians -- started Twitter accounts and began promoting the service on a daily basis. 

3 -- 'Twitter Crime Rate' is defined as the percentage of accounts created per month that were eventually suspended for malicious or suspicious activity, or otherwise misused.

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