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Fake Facebook Profiles Lead to Malware Installation

According to a security investigator, hackers are creating fake Facebook profiles by using automated technique and publicizing them in such a way that unsuspecting visitors might open them and download malware.

Roger Thompson, Chief of Research at AVG Technologies, an online security company, states that a number of bogus profiles contain an identical photo of a woman with blue eyes and blond hair, but the names and dates-of-birth are slightly changed from profile-to-profile, as reported by TheRegister on October 1, 2009.

The profiles solicit visitors to open a link that poses as a video, but it eventually leads to the installation of a rogue antivirus program. The scam goes further and deceives end-users into buying harmful software. In fact, the fake program tries to grab victims' credit card details for identity fraud, or often loads spyware on their PCs.

Commenting on the scam, Thompson said that they were plenty in number, suggesting that the attacks were automated. According to him, there could be no other explanation for creating an identical profile an 'n' number of times.

Nevertheless, AVG has till now found about 200 Facebook pages which apparently generated by an automated malicious software. These pages display the common profile photo but different usernames. Thompson doubts that the fake profiles could count to thousands.

Meanwhile, Facebook spokesman 'Simon Axten' stated that the company was probing into the incident and trying to trace the number of bogus accounts so that they could be disabled all together, as reported by ComputerWorld on October 1, 2009.

Some leading Web browsers have blacklisted the malevolent video link, while Facebook has locked the URL so that it may not be shared among the website's users.

The IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center), a coalition between the National White Collar Crime Center and the FBI, recently cautioned that the attack had become common since the fraudsters were continuously hijacking social-networking websites and disseminating malware. The IC3 also said that scammers were resorting to spam for the promotion of their phishing sites, or for luring users to view a video, or to download harmful software.

Related article: Fake Spam Mail Announces Australian PM’s Heart Attack

» SPAMfighter News - 10/21/2009

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