Facebook users most likely targets of account theft: Kaspersky
By Digital News Asia June 27, 2014
- Facebook fakery a global business, cybercriminals attacking it in various languages
- Unauthorised access to FB accounts being used to spread phishing links or malware
FACEBOOK remains the preferred target for cybercriminals who specialise in stealing social network accounts, according to Kaspersky Lab statistics,
In the first quarter of 2014, fake sites imitating Facebook accounted for 10.85% of all instances when a heuristic anti-phishing component was triggered, the company said in a statement.
Only fake Yahoo pages sparked more phishing alerts, leaving Facebook the prime target among social networking sites.
Today’s Facebook fakery is a global business, with cybercriminals attacking the site in a variety of languages: English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Arabic and others, Kaspersky Lab said.
Unauthorised access to accounts in Facebook or any other social network can be used to spread phishing links or malware, the company said.
Cybercriminals also use stolen accounts to send spam to the victims’ contact lists and publish spam on their friends’ walls where it can be seen by other users, or to spread messages asking their friends to send urgent financial assistance.
Hijacked accounts can also be used to collect information on individuals for use in future targeted attacks, Kaspersky Lab said.
Smartphone or tablet owners who visit social networks from their mobile devices are also at risk of having their personal data stolen.
To make matters worse, some mobile browsers hide the address bar while opening the page, which makes it much more difficult for users to spot fake resources.
“Cybercriminals have developed a number of ways to entice their victims to pages with phishing content,” said Nadezhda Demidova, web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
“They send links to phishing webpages via email or within social networks or in banners placed on third-party resources.
“Fraudsters often lure their victims by promising them ‘interesting content’. When users follow the link provided, they land on a fake login page that contains a standard message asking them to log in before viewing the page.
“If users don’t become suspicious and enter their credentials, their data will immediately be dispatched to cybercriminals,” Demidova added.
Some Kaspersky Lab advice:
- If you receive an email notification from Facebook or a message that your account may be blocked, never enter your credentials in a form attached to that message. Facebook never asks users to enter their password in an email or to send a password via email.
- Place the cursor on the link and check if it leads to the official Facebook page. Moreover, you should manually type the Facebook URL into the address bar – cybercriminals are capable of concealing the addresses to which they are leading you.
- When you have manually entered the URL in the address bar, check it again after the page has loaded to make sure it has not been spoofed.
- Remember that Facebook uses the HTTPS protocol to transmit data. The absence of a secure connection probably means that you are visiting a fraudulent site even if the URL address seems to be correct.
More information can be found here.
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