Facebook stamps out malware attack

It says less than .002 per cent of users were affected

Facebook has blocked links between its social networking site and malware-infested Web sites to where malicious hackers have been trying to lure Facebook members.

"We've identified and blocked the ability to link to the malicious websites from anywhere on Facebook. Less than .002 per cent of people on Facebook have been affected, all of whom we notified and suggested steps to remove the malware," wrote Max Kelly, Facebook's head of security, in a blog post early Friday.

Security company Sophos warned on Thursday about the attack, in which malicious hackers were targeting unsuspecting Facebook users via postings on the site's Wall feature.

The Wall, a core component of Facebook profile pages, is used by members to leave each other messages. Impersonating members' friends, malicious hackers posted messages urging users to click on a link to view a video on a Web site they falsely said was hosted by Google.

However, the link took users to a rogue Web page where they were told to download a new version of Adobe's Flash player in order to view the video. If users authorized the download, the site would install a Trojan horse, Troj/Dloadr-BPL, that funneled other malicious code detected as Troj/Agent-HJX into their PCs.

Then, an image of a court jester sticking his tongue out would appear, making it seem to Facebook members like an innocent practical joke by a friend. In fact, at that point, the PC had been seriously compromised and put in the control of malicious hackers for sending spam, distributing malware and performing other harmful actions, according to Sophos.

In its alert, the security company also addressed business and IT managers, saying that malware attacks via social networks are on the rise and that companies need to establish policies for employee use of these sites from the office.

If companies decide to allow employees to use Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and other sites, they should consider beefing up their security wares with, for example, devices that monitor Web traffic and scan software downloads authorized by end users, according to Sophos.

In his blog posting, Kelly asks Facebook members, of which there are about 80 million active ones, to report any spam messages they receive or postings they see, as well as any members who post threatening or inappropriate messages.

"The more reports we get, the easier it is for us to respond decisively," he wrote.

Another important tip: Never share a Facebook password, not even with someone purporting to be from the company.

"No Facebook employee will ever ask for it, and no one else should know it. If you are ever prompted to log in to Facebook, make sure it's from a legitimate Facebook web address. If something looks or feels off, go directly to www.facebook.com to log in," Kelly wrote.

The prompt to download an upgraded Flash player is apparently becoming popular with malicious hackers. Last week, Adobe posted its own alert warning people not to fall for this trick. Apparently, the bogus Flash message is part of other malware attacks that use microblogging site Twitter and other social sites.

Last week, security company Kaspersky Lab warned of new worms targeting MySpace and Facebook users via automatically generated comments and messages to those on their lists of friends.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?