Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nasty Virus Attacks Through Social Networking Sites Like Facebook

Be careful about what you click on.

According to the 2010 Threat Predictions Report by McAfee, cybercriminals are targeting social networking:
"Facebook, Twitter, and third-party applications on these sites are rapidly changing the criminal toolkit, giving cybercriminals new technologies to work with and hot spots of activity that can be exploited. Users will become more vulnerable to attacks that blindly distribute rogue apps across their networks, and cybercriminals will take advantage of friends trusting friends to get users to click on links they might otherwise treat cautiously. The use of abbreviated URLs on sites like Twitter make it even easier for cybercriminals to mask and direct users to malicious Web sites."
I have had the unfortunate experience of being a victim of a computer virus caught on Facebook. A little while ago, my home computer was infected by a nasty virus downloaded by clicking on a link (probably an ad or an app or even a link to another legitimate looking site suggested by a Facebook friend). I know it had to be from Facebook because that is the only place I logged onto the evening of the infection.

I had to call a computer technician to come disinfect my machine.

Here is the nasty part, according to Mr. Computer Techie: many new viruses mascarade as anti-virus programs.

The virus I caught surreptitiously downloaded a program ("Security Center") to my machine that immediately attacked and disabled my real anti-virus program (!!!), neutralized other applications like my web browser, and then claimed to have discovered more than 50 instances of viruses, malware, Trojan programs and other stuff affecting. It even looked a lot like my normal but now useless anti-virus software.

Of course, a message appeared on my screen asking me to "activate" the program to delete the rogue material, for a price: first register online, using a credit card!

Confusing and a proof that criminal minds are sometimes wickedly brilliant!

Of course, I immediately unplugged everything, turned off the computer and called a technician.

[Source: beSpacific]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm


Anonymous Peter Propp said...

I am really concerned, not just about the new FB viruses, but about the apparent lack of concern or leadership by FB to prevent attacks and protect consumers === other than driving them to purchase services from McAffee...

Here's my blog post on the topic:
Why you should be really worried about Facebook's Weak Response to Facebook Virus Attacks

12:06 pm  

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