Koobface worm to users: Be my Facebook friend
New variant steals log-in credentials for Facebook, MySpace, other social networking sites
Computerworld - A worm that hit Facebook last December has resurfaced, a security researcher said today, and is now hijacking user accounts -- not only for that social networking service, but also for MySpace, Friendster, LiveJournal and others.
The Koobface worm is again making the rounds on Facebook, said Jamz Yaneza, a research project manager at Trend Micro Inc. "But this is an improved version with some interesting functions," he said.
Like the variant that hit Facebook late last year, the newest Koobface tries to dupe users into clicking on a link that's included in a message from a friend. Clicking on the link displays a fake error message claiming that Adobe System Inc.'s Flash is out of date, and prompts the user to download an update.
The update is nothing of the sort, but is instead an executable file that installs the Koobface worm.
"Koobface.az," as Trend Micro pegged the worm, rifles through a compromised PC, sniffs out browser cookies associated with 10 different social networking sites, uses the usernames and passwords within those cookies to log on to each service, searches for the infected user's friends and then sends those people messages that include a link to the worm.
It looks for cookies connected to bebo.com, Facebook, Friendster, fubar.com, hi5.com, LiveJournal, MySpace, myYearbook, Netlog and Tagged.
Much of the message processing takes place on a remote server, which the hackers control, said Yaneza. That server communicates with each infected PC, receiving data and sending instructions. "This is pretty serious stuff," he said.
Trend Micro has identified more than 300 IP addresses hosting the worm, and although some have been blocked, others are still online. Those addresses are located in Asia, Yaneza said.
"This is maybe only in its early stages," he added, referring to the small but growing number of infections. "I'd call it fairly active at the moment."
Koobface.az isn't the only piece of malware to have struck Facebook recently. Trend Micro, as well as other security vendors, has noted a pair of scams in the past week that targeted users of the popular service. The most recent sent messages to users claiming that friends had turned them in for violating Facebook's terms of service; when people clicked on the included link, they downloaded an application that spammed all friends with a similar message and may have harvested information from each Facebook account as it did so.
"I don't think this is a coincidence," said Yaneza, speaking of Koobface coming hard on the heels of other attacks against Facebook users. "[Cybercriminals] are looking at how these services are being used, and more importantly, their sizes," he said.
"Users need to be very, very careful about what they install when they're on these [social networking] services," Yaneza advised. "And they should be careful about how they use social networks and what information they put on them. The criminals are gleaning all the information they can and using it against you."
- Feds declare big win over Cryptolocker ransomware
- Hackers hit more businesses through remote access accounts
- P.F. Chang's post-breach move to manual processing is telling
- Microsoft withholds monster IE update from Windows 8.1 dawdlers
- In baffling move, TrueCrypt open-source crypto project shuts down
- 'Oleg Pliss' hack makes for a perfect teachable IT moment
- Give IE the heave-ho until Microsoft patches zero-day
- Hackers find first post-retirement Windows XP-related vulnerability
- Researcher claims two hacker gangs exploiting unpatched IE bug
- Update: Third of Internet Explorer users at risk from attacks
Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Best Practices for Securing Hadoop Historically, Apache Hadoop has provided limited security capabilities. To protect sensitive data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop, security architects should use a...
- Top Tips for Securing Big Data Environments: Why Big Data Doesn't Have to Mean Big Security Challenges Organizations must come to terms with the security challenges they introduce. As big data environments ingest more data, organizations will face significant risks...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!