Facing up to cyber threats in the Middle East
More than 28 million people use Facebook across the Middle East but they are not the only ones who like the web site.
Security specialists Symantec are warning that the social network is fast becoming a hotbed for malware authors and scammers.
“By taking advantage of the users’ trust in their network of relationships, they are spreading malicious code and sending spam messages that are harmful to those unknowingly clicking on their friends pages,” said Bulent Teksoz, chief security strategist for emerging markets at Symantec.
“Furthermore, most of the attacks we currently see use social engineering tricks to spread their messages to thousands of users.
“Besides reposting spam messages to friends, attacks can lead users to scam surveys or malicious sites that can potentially cause permanent damage.” So, in a bid to arm facebook users with the knowledge they need to outwit the hackers, Symantec has produced this guide to the five biggest threats.
The user will install a facebook application but it will actually be malicious and take over the user’s page, giving the attacker the ability to post on the user’s wall, access the users messages and chat with their friends. This is one of the oldest and most prevalent facebook scams.
COPY-PASTE SCRIPT ATTACKS
The user will get the promise of an interesting video or website but will need to copy and paste the information into the address bar of the browser. This self-executing scam will then post spam on the user’s behalf.
Ever see an interesting story or shocking status update? Beware, these are generally hoaxes created to be passed around facebook. The goal of hoaxes is to either generate traffic to a spam site or simply to troll other users.
LIKE AND SHARE-BAITING
Scammers will ask the user to like or share a facebook page to gain special privileges. After liking a page, the user will then be forwarded to a survey that asks them for personal information. The author will get a commission for every view.
These malicious pages have hidden like buttons - the user will see an interesting video with a play button, but instead of the video playing, there’s a like button hidden behind it. Some pages will even ask the user to click multiple times, generating multiple likes with each click.