In the computer security industry, it's a well-known fact that hackers and malware makers tend to go wherever the users go. That means that these days they go to social networking sites like Facebook: in the addition to high traffic, social networking sites offer up a treasure trove of personal information that hackers are constantly looking for new ways to unlock.
According to a recent news report, Facebook dealt with five different security threats in the space of a week. One of the most serious threats is the Koobface worm, which surfaced in two major attacks last year and is now back for more.
Once downloaded, the worm searches for cookies left on the user's machine by social networks. It uses these cookies to connect to the site and find the user's friends, and then sends them a message telling them to download a video.
People often click the link to the video because they tend to trust their friends and are too tempted by the promise of entertainment to resist. Of course, what they end up downloading isn't a video at all -- it's Koobface.
In addition to the Koobface worm, Facebook is also battling four new applications that attempt to get users to reveal their usernames and passwords.
Facebook now has over 175 million users, and more people sign up every day to connect to friends, family, and work colleagues. If you're one of them (and you probably are), just remember that the same good habits you learned for surfing the Web and handling email apply when you're on Facebook as well. Keep your security software updated, don't download unnecessary applications or plugins, and don't ever trust a suspicious link.
Still worried about viruses, worms, spyware, and other Internet threats? CMIT Solutions can help. Our Marathon service automatically runs regular system scans and anti-virus updates.