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Michael Rielly

Malware Targets Facebook and Other Social Sites

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Michael Rielly

Malware Targets Facebook and Other Social Sites

Yahoo!News

newsfactor.com

Frederick Lane

March 3, 2009

EXCERPT:

Trend Micro, a computer security firm, is warning that social-networking sites are under attack from a new wave of malware, worms and rogue applications. Although a number of the leading social-network sites have been targeted, the problem has hit Facebook hardest.

"We didn't see a lot of these until recently," said Jamz Yaneza, the threat research manager for Trend Micro. "So far, they don't seem to be affecting users that much, although at least one Facebook group has been started by malware victims."

Yaneza said there is particular concern about a new variant of a dangerous worm, WORM_KOOBFACE.AZ. Within a very short period of time, the setup file for Koobface.AZ appeared on more than 300 servers, mostly in Asia, and Trend Micro expects that number to rise quickly. Researchers also estimate that as many as 20,000 PCs are being infected each day.

...

Koobface.AZ and other rogue applications either secretly steal user information or dupe users into revealing it voluntarily. For instance, late last week, some Facebook users received a notification in their user profile that they had been reported for a violation of the site's terms and conditions.

...

What happens, Yaneza explained, is that data stolen by the rogue applications gets uploaded to a third-party Web site. Session data, cookies and captured personal information can be used to log in to social-networking sites under the stolen identity, and then the software roots around for even more personal information.

...

Is Openness the Problem?

But an even bigger problem, Yaneza warned, is that the trend toward open social-networking applications makes it easy for identity thieves and other cybercriminals to write malicious applications. Facebook is the highest-profile target because of its user base, he said, but it's a problem faced by many other sites as well.

...

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Michael Rielly

Not to alarm anyone, but I found this on one of the technical blogs I frequent. They were also talking about how Ning has the same issues...

:unsure:

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Santa Mike P

Santa Rielly, is there something we should do to prevent this from happening to us on our own PCs?

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Carlo Klemm

Thanks for the heads up Mike. I feel comfortable that ClausNET is not among those targeted. OK, targeted but our bullet proof armour is fending them off, thanks to you.

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Michael Rielly
Santa Rielly, is there something we should do to prevent this from happening to us on our own PCs?

Unfortunately nothing is 100% safe. My network here is pretty tight. But my kid still picked up those malicious programs by visiting MySpace and Facebook accounts. Twice I had to rebuild his machine to get rid of it!

The problem with free sites like Facebook, Myspace, Multiply, Ning is that they are open. Open sites will always be targets for spam, malware, and viruses. Programmers that get their jollies by spreading trojans and viruses have a better chance of spreading it to millions of computers through an "open" system rather than a more secure system.

ClausNET 2.0 will have a Facebook connect feature, but the more I read about dangers of Facebook, the more I am hesitant to turn on that feature. I'll need to learn a lot more of how it works before I decide to turn it on.

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Santa Bear

One big threat of those sites are the neat little featues everyone puts on their pages. These music players, etc., are open doors to allow the malicious software access to your system and this is where most of the malicious software is hidden. Some of them you even have to have ActiveX rights allowed for them to run. The user clicks yes and the problems begin. I just find it much easier not to mess with those sites or even visit them.

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