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News

Social Networking Set To Be Prime Vector For St Valentine's Day Malware

BitDefender UK : 14 February, 2011  (Technical Article)
BitDefender is warning users of social networking sites to be aware of the increased use of such sites as vehicles for delivering malware, particularly during such occasions as St Valentine's day when users defences are down
BitDefender urges extra caution as millions of users may be caught in holiday inspired social scams



Social networks are intensively used by Valentine’s cyber-scammers seeking to hijack user accounts or to simply flood them with spam, according BitDefender®, an award winning provider of innovative internet security solutions.



BitDefender is urging users to be extra cautious this year and to watch out for the following scams that could put their accounts at risk:



* Messages that promise to share Valentine’s Day insights - By accessing the link allowing an application that promises to reveal ‘12 things a girl wishes a guy knew’, for instance, social network users risk having their account walls and their friends’ pages flooded by unwanted automatic posts.



* Messages that promise to reveal the existence of secret admirers - While this may be quite an attractive perspective, social network members should not fall into the trap. By allowing this kind of application to be installed on their accounts, they enable the scammer to automatically post unwanted messages on their walls and on their friends’ pages.



* Messages that help spread Valentine’s versions of well-known Facebook scams - For instance, the classic ‘see who viewed your profile’ scam turns into ‘My ex is the top stalker of my profile. See who stalks your profile too’ for Valentine’s. The application behind this scam will generate fake posts on the victim’s wall and on his/her friends’ pages. As these posts appear to be coming from someone familiar and as they refer to fake Facebook discussions in which several of the victim’s friends appear to have engaged, the scam is very likely to spread fast. When spotting this kind of post, users should double-check that the sender’s account isn’t compromised.



“Holidays have been a strong source of inspiration for social scammers for many years now. Valentine's-themed scams, though expected and predictable, are still quite successful because of their emotional appeal. Every year, millions of users follow all sorts of suspicious links in the hope of finding ‘the one.’ Social networks are there to encourage bonding and the exchange of information, but users should also be aware of the traps they may fall in within these environments”, said George Petre, BitDefender Threat Intelligence Team Leader.



As always, BitDefender safego is there to help users keep their social network accounts safe. 
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