By Sumit Passary | Aug 11, 2012 08:44 AM EDT
Not many days have passed since Facebook launched its first ever real-cash gambling app, Bingo Friendzy, and naysayers are already having a field day pulling it down. The app is being criticized on the grounds that it will motivate hackers to unleash an attack.
London-based Gamesys are the brains behind the new app - Bingo Friendzy. The app will offer 90 bingo and slot games to its UK users who are over 18 years.
Some Christian groups have already begun criticizing the launch of the new gambling app. The groups opine that the bright colors and the Moshi Monsters-like characters will lure children and expose them to the menaces of the gambling industry at a tender age. The Christian groups have urged the Advertising Standards Authority to act.
Moreover, sources say "It is well known that Facebook has over one million under-age users. Whilst we acknowledge the age-verification system Gamesys has put in place, we are concerned that this may incentivise young people to find ways to access this site once they see constant wall updates promoting online gambling.''
With over 900 million users, Facebook is the world's most popular social networking Web site. Users have to register to link to their friends, play online games, and to use the online shopping feature. Experts aver that the inclusion of real money bets via the new app makes the social networking giant a feeble target and susceptible to hackers. Moreover, hacking incidents are not new to the site. In Dec. 2011, a British student admitted hacking into Facebook between April and May 2011.
It cannot be doubted that Facebook has enough security systems in place to counter such threats; however, as real money is on stake now, will the new app give more reasons to the hackers and entice them to attack the Web site?
"Traditionally, professional hackers tend to target websites for monetary gain, and up until now there has been very little value in attempting to hack in to Facebook other than to steal user information. Now that Facebook has turned to online gambling, there is the added incentive of potentially accessing users credit card or payment details," Paul Lawrence, vice president for international operations at Corero Network Security, told TechWeekEurope.
Deemed as the most visited social networking Web site in the world, is Facebook taking a gamble with the launch of Bingo Friendzy? If the ever increasing list of Facebook users continues to grow, or comes to a halt courtesy Bingo Friendzy is anybody's guess.