Wednesday, May 19, 2010

News: Facebook users hit by attack

IT SECURITY and data protection firm Sophos is warning Facebook users to be wary following a video attack on users designed to infect computers with adware. Thousands have been hit by the attack, which posts a fake video to profiles claiming to be the "sexiest video ever".

The malicious posts seemingly come from users' friends on Facebook, and are accompanied by what appears to be a movie thumbnail picture of a woman on an exercise bicycle wearing a short skirt. However, Sophos experts warn that clicking on the thumbnail picture doesn't play a video, but takes victims to a Facebook application that tells them they don't have the right player software installed, and tries to trick them into installing revenue-generating adware.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: "You may want to watch a sexy video, but you're more likely to end up being plagued by pop-up advertising. Not only is adware being installed on your computer, but the rogue Facebook application is posting the same message to all of your friends' accounts."

Facebook users hit by the attack are advised not to click on the links or allow the Facebook application to run.

"If you fell victim to this attack, scan your computer with up-to-date anti-virus software, change your passwords, and review your Facebook application settings and remove whatever application was installed during this attack," said Mr Cluley. "Seventy per cent more Facebook users are reporting being attacked by malware via the site in the last year, and the problem only seems to be getting worse. Social networking users need to learn not to fall for simple but effective social engineering tricks like this in future."

More information about the attack, including images of the dangerous movie message, can be found on Graham Cluley's blog at

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