Posted December 29, 2011 4:27 pm by with 2 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

I spent much of my Christmas holiday trying to clear a virus off my son’s computer. It was the worst one I’d ever seen. Like a monster from one of those Syfy original movies, it kept growing and mutating, blocking every move I made to try and destroy it.

How did he get the virus? Good question. The usual suspects come to mind; file sharing, clicking on suspicious links, hanging online with an unsavory crowd. Turns out getting a virus, or worse, having your identity or credit card information stolen can happen through no fault of your own.

Commtouch just released their quarterly Internet Threats Trend Report and though spam is at a three-year low, Facebook attacks are on the rise. Before we go any further, can we just rejoice in the fact that Commtouch counts Zombies as part of their report.

Now, back to business. Since Facebook’s security blocks millions of malicious links a day, scammers have turned to social engineering in order to wreck havoc. As you’ll see in the infographic below, scammers use offers of free gifts, celebrity news headlines and new app links to entice people to click. These same people then use the “like” and “share” buttons to spread the scam to all of their followers. (A small percentage use malware to “like” the link without the user knowing it.)

Commtouch found that 74% of these links lead to phony affiliate marketing or survey sites. Some cybercrooks use these sites to generate affiliate income. Others use them to collect data or trick people into signing up for a recurring payment on their credit card. Yes, people really do enter their card information into these sites.

A smaller percentage of scammers use social engineering to hack into accounts and many still pass around the old “urban legend” emails, but now in social media form, just for the fun of it.

Commtouch has put together this informative graphic all about Facebook attacks and what you can do to avoid them. Heed the warnings and save yourself a big head ache in 2012.


  • Liebenswert

    Spent days trying to clean up multiple pcs on the network. I wish your article would give more info on the virus you were dealing with and what you did to fix it, where it came from etc. I believe that our virus came from Cityville Wiki site. Even after cleaning the pc going to this site seemed to push everything back to taking our pc’s down. The virus prevented us from running any antivirus sw and i can only hope that i caught it all. I used Symantec Endpoint, which seemed to do wonders until this virus, which showed itself as a trojan and found its way back onto our pc. Three pc’s all running antivirus. I’m not sure of the bad effects of this virus, whether or not our info was stolen or if we were keylogged but i hate viruses. Good luck to all.

  • I got a virus through the social networking giant facebook!…..the virus had spread to all my friends. It was one of the most annoying thing ever happened to me.