Facebook has Worms!

by Margaret Kay

Eeeek! Facebook’s got worms; and not the delicious gummy kind either. According to the BBC and security firm Securlet, a computer worm has accessed 45,000 log-in details, mostly from accounts in the UK and France.

The worm, known as Ramnit, first came on the scene back in April 2010 when it stole people’s precious banking details. However, this latest form of Ramnit preys upon people’s Facebook profiles by logging into victims’ accounts and spreading the infected links to newsfeeds and timelines across the social network.

This latest malware threat comes at a time when social networking sites are increasingly faced with new, more sophisticated threats. To a cybercriminal (also known as the worst people EVER), sites like Facebook are a goldmine of juicy, potentially lucrative, personal data.

It doesn’t help that many of us use the same password for everything (shopping sites, online banking, social networking, email etc.). Ask yourself – once a hacker gets his grimy paws on your Facebook password, could he also get into your bank account? How about your email? Or, what about your corporate SSL VPN?

So, how exactly does Ramnit work? Like so many other nasty viruses, it infects HTML files and steals “sensitive information such as stored FTP credentials and browser cookies.” It basically invades your computer or other electronic device (mobiles and tablets are not safe!) and spys on you, recording your online behaviour and “phishing” for your personal data.

Scared yet? Well, if you suspect that you may be a victim of Ramnit or something like it, the first step of the extermination process is to run an antivirus software (a legit one, not a sketchy free version – come on people, this is not the time to go budget!), though this worm is so invasive that you may need to take your device to an expert.

Most importantly, act fast – not only for your own sake, but for all of your Facebook friends to whom you might unknowingly send an infected link.

Are you worried about the rise of malware aimed at social networks? Any stories/advice you want to share? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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