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News

Malware results from Facebook Timeline attacks

ESET : 12 January, 2012  (Technical Article)
ESET describes attacks based on confusion around Timeline on Facebook social networking site
Malware results from Facebook Timeline attacks
ESET advises on the latest Facebook threat. If you use this social network, you have probably heard of Timeline, a "new" feature that replaces the "traditional" profile page. “However, as a new user, you may be confused by Timeline  and confusion could make you the target of a growing number of Timeline-related scams,” says ESET Security Evangelist Stephen Cobb.

“As I understand it, the day is coming when every Facebook user will have to use Timeline. I'm thinking that day is when the confusion will really snowball because a lot of people will decide they don't like Timeline and wonder to themselves: Can I remove Timeline? And the scam artists and click-jackers are getting ready for that day, offering bogus links on Facebook that promise Timeline removal,” warns Cobb. As of today there are already several cases of these types of scam.

For example, here you can see one such bogus Facebook page that wants you to click the "Like" before continuing. In fact, the page is all about "liking" and one of the steps it requires as part of this bogus Timeline removal is a grid of 45 Like buttons you must click. After several other steps, including  invotation to all your friends to give a like to the page, you get this message: "Wait For Few Days Your Request Will be forwarded To The Timeline Office" (original wording and capitalization)”.

So far, Facebook has not been able to keep up with the policing of these scams, making it clear that the feature cannot be removed. “Unless Facebook changes its mind and makes Timeline optional, the bottom line is that you will have to live with it and avoid the temptation to click on links promising to help you deactivate, remove, or disable Timeline; they are just not worth the risk,” advises Cobb.

Moving down the list of malware  threats, every month ESET compiles a statistic based on its Live Grid® feature - ESET’s cloud-based malware collection system utilizing data from users of ESET solutions worldwide. Every month for the last several months, removable media malware has topped the stats. INF/Autorun  topped the annual statistics (5.84%). Number two was Win32/Conficker (3.69%). The global threat number three Win32/Sality  reached a 1.88% infection rate.

In European December statistics, HTML/ScrInject.B.Gen, which automatically redirects the user to the malware download, jumped rather dramatically to 8.83% (in December number one globally with 6.16%), while INF/Autorun was number two in Europe with 3.46% (4.42% infection rate globally). The threat dubbed as HTML/Iframe.B was third with an infection rate of  2.48% in Europe (2.11% globally).
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