Fake Facebook pull-down tricks social climbers into swallowing vile load
Malware-slingers understand your need to network
Scammers are attempting to trick prospective marks into opening malware via spam messages falsely warning that their Facebook account is in the process of being closed.
The dodgy email poses as supposed account cancellation confirmation messages that point to a third-party application running on the Facebook platform. The upshot of this is that even though the link doesn't point towards an official Facebook page, it does go to a Facebook.com address, something likely to trip up the unwary.
Surfers who visit the page are asked for permission to allow an unknown Java applet to run on their computer. Just saying "no thanks" fails to stop this request being repeated, a trick designed to bore marks into allowing the applet to run.
The applet generates a false message that users need to update their installation of Adobe Flash to proceed. Users are offered a download posing as Adobe Flash but actually containing a series of malware packages, defined by Sophos as Mal/SpyEye-B and Troj/Agent-WHZ.
The whole ruse is based on the premise that victims will jump through a number of hoops in order to guard against the possibility of a Facebook account getting closed.
"The social engineering being used by the tricksters behind this malware attack is pretty cunning," said Graham Cluley, a senior security consultant at Sophos. "They know that people value their Facebook accounts highly, and many would be upset to lose access to them and the digital connections they have built up with friends and family."
"The hope of the cybercriminals is that victims will blindly agree to whatever the computer tells them to do, in order to 'fix' the account cancellation request," he concludes.
A blog post by Sophos, containing screenshots showing the opening email gambit to the scam as well as depicting how the malicious applet it punts works, can be found here. ®
Dodgy websites? I'm confused.
How can people tell the difference between Facebork and the scammers?
"They're worse than... the Mafia."
Last time I checked, it's not as bad to fail to close an account as it is to shoot you in the eyeball and leave you dead at your own dinner table, surrounded by horrified family members and crying children.
I guess it depends on your priorities, but I'd rather that my social network account linger on a tape backup, than be brutally murdered in my dining room. I mean, just speaking for myself.
Maybe it's different for you and the prospect of Facebook retaining your mailing address is worse than the potential for your being the victim of a brutal, senseless homicide. Even if your account is retained in limbo, you yourself live on and on, continually reliving the horror of your physical mailing address remaining in the hands of Mr. Zuckerberg.
Whereas, after a few brief seconds of shock and terror, being strangled with piano wire in the rest room of the Olive Garden (when you're here, you're Family) is a one shot deal. After the moment of realization as the cold of the wire around your neck gives way to searing pain, after the brief and almost funny indignation at having to die with your pants down and a copy of "American Riflemen" on your lap, after the slow but rushing warmth and darkness, well - there's nothing to worry about any more, is there?
Hell, maybe you're right after all. It's a good thing I don't have a Facebook account. I don't even know how to -join- the mob.
Re: Java Applet?
"Unless you're part of the 1% do yourself a favor and uninstall."
As if it isn't enough that the rich have the power, the women, and the cars - now they're they only ones who get Java, too?
There really is no justice.