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Kaspersky - Koobface Variants Increase Enormously in June 2009

Kaspersky, an online security company, said that it observed an explosion rise in variants of the computer virus 'Koobface' during June 2009 as this was the time for summer vacation in the northern part of the globe. Within a month, there was a huge jump in the total number of detected versions of Koobface from 324 at May end 2009 to nearly 1,000 at June end 2009.

Security researchers state that Kaspersky Lab first detected Koobface as Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface, which immediately became popular with its appearance about 12 months back when it attacked MySpace and Facebook accounts.

Generally, the Koobface virus proliferates through a user's legitimate account to his friends' accounts. The worm sends messages and comments containing a web-link that connects to a bogus YouTube site which prompts users to install a "fresh edition of Flash Player" from the Net.

However, the virus is loaded to victims' computers instead of a video player to spread infection. After the infection, each infected user starts transmitting the message to his friends' addresses; consequently, the virus' functionality gets extended. In the present time, Koobface is attacking more and more social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Tagged Netlog, Bebo, Hi5, and most lately, Twitter.

Kaspersky experts highlight that with the increasing popularity of Twitter and Facebook, attacks against the social networking sites are also becoming common.

Stefan Tanase, malware Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, stated that increased online criminal operations through social networks during June 2009 demonstrated that conmen's ruses to infect people's computers were comparatively more effective, and they characterized their attacks with a social perspective, as reported by DarkReading on July 6, 2009.

Commenting further on the growth of Koobface, Tanase said that June 2009 was a significant month for the development of malicious programs involving social networks as he saw the malware activities exceeding far than any earlier month.

Hence, Tanase advises users to exercise vigilance while clicking on links arriving via suspicious messages no matter how reliable the sender is and ask them to maintain their security software up-to-date to stop fresh variants of computer malware.

Related article: Kaspersky Released Malware Statistics for September 2008

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