Internet security experts are warning of a virus embedded into pages on Facebook. Users who click the links are taken to malicious websites, which install a virus. The virus then quietly sits on your computer, stealing passwords and account details until it has enough details to empty your bank accounts.
So how can you protect yourself?
The virusIt's not a brand new form of virus, in fact the so-called Trojan virus is about six years old. The malware installs itself when you click on a rogue link, it then usually sends messages to all your Facebook friends inviting them to click on the same link.
Anyone falling foul of the scam will automatically install the malware. It works in the background on your computer, and when you log onto banking sites it awakens, records the passwords and account numbers you type in, and sends them back to the criminals behind the attack. The criminals will decide which banking sites they want the virus to monitor, and can even update their list of sites while the virus is on your computer.
Typically the virus attacks computers running Windows software, although variants have also emerged that affect BlackBerry and Android phones.
Protect yourselfHowever, the experts at Trend Micro have blogged that a variant of the virus is re-emerging, and attacks are dramatically increasing. Its research saw April and May hit new peaks for attacks. It highlighted one link on an NFL fan page, which has since been removed, but warned that the virus is bound to be lurking elsewhere too.
It said this showed that we need to be alive to the risks posed by viruses. Adding: "Old threats like ZBOT can always make a comeback because cybercriminals profit from these. Peddling stolen banking and other personal information from users is a lucrative business in the underground market. "
The experts said we need to take care when opening email messages or clicking web links. You should also bookmark trusted sites and avoid visiting unknown ones. It added: "Always keep your system up-to-date with the latest security releases from security vendors and install trusted anti-malware protection."
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