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Indian Government Cautions Twitter & Facebook Users against Virus

The Union Government of India has issued an alert to the users of social networking websites such as MySpace, Twitter and Facebook to look out for a computer virus, which is attacking visitors to spread itself.

CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) working under the Department of Information Technology (the central organization tracking cyber threats in India) stated that a fresh virus called 'Koobface' was proliferating via social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and hi5.

CERT states that the worm is spreading through spam mails containing a web-link that takes people to a supposedly interesting video site.

However, if the link is clicked, users are diverted to a site that impersonates YouTube although misspelled as 'YuoTube' where users are directed to download an executable file in order to view the video.

CERT explains that the worm is especially hazardous because it utilizes an infected computer to attack other computers, deliver more malware, generate revenue through "pay-per-click" ads as well as steal confidential and sensitive data.

Additionally, the worm spreads by bringing social-networking websites under its control and then spamming to all contacts, e-mails that have web-links leading to malware-hosting sites, CERT adds.

Trend Micro, an online security company, said that Twitter and Facebook had become cyber criminals' key targets for harvesting valuable personal information from users of the social-networking sites.

With increasing number of people communicating via social networks, many are now becoming more and more vulnerable to cyber thieves who seek to commit deceptions, the CERT stated.

With over 3 Million Facebook members in India alone, the Koobface has an immense potential to wreak havoc on computer systems in the country. It is for this reason that the Indian government has raised nationwide alert.

Hence, CERT advises that in case anyone becomes infected with the worm, he must delete all registry keys and files that the worm has already created. The government body also advises Internet users to use up-to-date antivirus along with a firewall at the desktop and to block all idle ports.

Related article: Indian Financial Industry Facing Rising Online Fraud

» SPAMfighter News - 29-08-2009

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