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News

Facebook secret crush application behaves like adware worm

Fortinet : 03 January, 2008  (Technical Article)
Users responding to the secret crush widget on facebook could end up downloading adware application without realising it warns Fortinet.
Fortinet threat researchers have uncovered a 'malicious widget' running amok within the Facebook social networking community. The widget - which displays in the form of a 'Secret Crush' request inviting users to find out who of their friends might have the hots for them - acts as a social worm, prompting users to unwittingly download the infamous Zango adware/spyware application and to recommend the contact details of five further friends to do the same.

Those who have seeded the program within Facebook are cashing in, getting rewarded 'per click'. The widget is already being used by 3% of the Facebook community, which amounts to over one million users -impressive in such a small time-frame. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the propagation strategy employed by the widget, as well as the potential capitalisation on a large user base such as Facebook's.

The rise of 'malicious Facebook widgets' was foreseen by Fortinet CMO Richard Stiennon only last month as one of his predictions for 2008.

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