Friday 30 May, 2014

Facebook Malware – Facebook Spreads Trojan through Mobiles

A new Trojan malware program has been identified that can infect mobiles through Facebook. Once infected, it can gain valuable data such as financial and personal information. The malware program was discovered by anti-virus vendor ESET.

How the Trojan Works

The malware is a program called Qadars. It injects rogue JavaScript code onto Facebook pages when Facebook is opened from an infected system. It then sends messages to users urging them to download and install a security app for Facebook, which is actually malware in disguise.

When clicked, it takes you to a fake Facebook authentication page, which says something like, “Due to a rising number of attempts in order to gain unlawful access to the personal information of our users and to prevent corrupted page data to spread Facebook administration introduces new extra safety protection system.” It then asks for your phone number.

Once installed, the malware intercepts SMS messages, phone calls and audio voice messages through the phone number it was given. It can also steal your address book. This interception offers a number of ways hackers can then obtain sensitive information such as bank authentication codes.

The malware program only affects Android users.

The Revenge of iBanking

This actually isn’t a new malware programs. Security experts have identified it as a variant of an old Trojan called iBanking, which masquerades as a security app but then injects HTML attacks on banking sites. This Trojan made its last appearance in early 2014, when it was found to be selling on underground forums for about $5,000. At the time, security firms warned that there would be more like it.

What’s different about the current Qadars is that it pretends to be Facebook rather than simply a banking or security app. Facebook is an ideal to spread malware because of its number of users. Plus, its users’ defenses are down. There hasn’t been a major malware to hit Facebook yet. While most users are vigilant about protecting their PCs from viruses, most people don’t consider the risks involved in using a mobile or the fact that Facebook can spread malware.

How to Avoid Infection

There are several things you can do to make sure you’re not infected. One is to question very closely anything you find on Facebook. While the hackers have managed to copy Facebook’s authentication screen quite well, there are still often mistakes. There could be a spelling mistake or Facebook could be written as “FaceBook.” You might find grammar mistakes or language that’s too casual for an official notification.

Research apps carefully before downloading and installing. Apps sold through official sources should be carefully vetted but aren’t always. You should never download and install apps from unofficial sources.

Finally, make sure you have a good antivirus program in place. There are many antivirus programs available for mobile devices on the market today.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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