Sunday, February 1, 2015

"MAGNET" new malware that uses social media tagging to spread rapidly

Malware Poses as Flash Update Infects more than 110,000 Facebook Users
MAGNET malware example link

Over the last two days, a malware program used to infect and steal data from social media users has infected over 110,000 users on Facebook, primarily those trying to access video links from the site. The reason being is that it poses a Flash update once you click on a link and then inserts a Trojan horse into the users system to hijack one's keyboard and mouse controls in order to facilitate stealing usernames, data, and passwords.

This new technique also enables the malware to keep a low profile, while also displaying itself publicly on your profile, and this is only the reason how the malware infected so many Facebook users just in two days.  Another part is the malware exposes what link you have clicked on to everyone, exposing inappropriate site selections. In the new technique, which is called 'Magnet,' the malware gets more visibility to potential victims by tagging the friends of the victim in the malicious post, infecting other rapidly. A tag may be seen by friends of the victim's friends as well, which leads to a larger number of potential victims. This will speed up the malware propagation.
 
Overall, this malware has not been publicly announced by Facebook and it has to the potential to expose data of users without their knowledge. The best defense is not to click on links to videos you cannot confirm the source to. Just because a friend's name is linked to a post or link doesn't make it factual or reliable.
 
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