Phished Facebook accounts become spammer's tool

A researcher links the attack to a Russian cyber-gang

Cybercriminals who went after Facebook users with a number of phishing attacks last week have now turned around and begun sending spam messages from the Facebook accounts they cracked.

Some of the spam contains "run-of-the mill" Viagra-type messages, but some of it is more dangerous, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said Thursday.

"Some of it points to a site where users are hit with drive-by downloads of adware," he said in an e-mail message. " We've started blocking all of this spam this morning, have been deleting it, and resetting the passwords of accounts that sent it."

One of those sites, mygener(dot)im, (do not visit this Web site; it will attack your computer) is loaded with attack code that is used to install malicious programs, said Paul Ferguson, a researcher with antivirus vendor Trend Micro.

The site is hosted at a Latvian data center that has been associated with other cybercriminal activity, he said.

"My gut feeling is that it's the same criminal operation that was involved with the Russian Business Network," he said, alluding to an organized gang of cybercriminals based in Russia.

Attackers have also used the fbaction(dot)net and fbstarter(dot)com domains in their scams, Schnitt said.

Facebook's 200 million users were hit last week with several rounds of phishing attacks, which tried to trick victims into visiting phoney sites designed to look like Facebook login pages.

Users who think they may have fallen victim to one of these attacks are urged to reset their account passwords.

Facebook is disabling accounts that it links to the recent spam attacks, but the company won't say how many users have been affected, because that would let the bad guys know how effective its security measures have been.

So far it looks like "a relatively small number of users" were phished, Schnitt said. "It is much smaller than previous issues like Koobface, for example," he added.

Koobface was a malicious worm program that spread across Facebook last year, trying to trick victims into downloading malicious code.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimeFacebookspam

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?