Sophos: Don’t forward Facebook/Olympic Torch virus

Isn’t it a very difficult time for us nowadays, as the dawn of technological advancement has brought a number of new dangers that could possibly lead to hackers, being able to get sensitive information from you that they could use for their own good?

Well, even the 2012 London Olympics weren’t sparred from these unruly individuals.

According to security firm Sophos, an email is currently being passed around that urges recipients to forward them. This, according to Sophos, it what they dub as the “Facebook/Olympic Torch virus.”

According to Sophos, by forwarding this message widely, you are in turn helping the “bad guys”. They are saying that recipients must think first before they click on the message. They added that you might as well delete the message and not open it or forward it, in order to avoid the virus.

This email could very well place you and others email addresses in danger as scammers and cybercriminals cold prey on them.

Sophos added that these email “might be scooped up by real malware, sent off to cybercrooks, and sold on to spammers and scammers.”

The email is spreading like wildfire in cyberspace and claims that an attachment called “Invitation FACEBOOK” is a virus that opens an Olympic torch that could destroy your hard drive.

Are you careful when opening emails? Be careful with the virus!

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Beware of Facebook tag notification

Almost everybody nowadays has a Facebook account. Though not all are active, the mere fact that Facebook has millions upon millions of minions shows for the social network’s popularity.

But before you go on and bask on you and your friends’ Facebook profile, you have to remember that Facebook has a ton of potentially harmful weblinks that might trick you.

According to security firm Sophos, you have to think twice before clicking on links on an email claiming to be from Facebook and saying that you have been tagged in a photo.

Sophos said, “If you click on the link in the email, you are not taken immediately to the real Facebook website. Instead, your browser is taken to a website hosting some malicious iFrame script (which takes advantage of the Blackhole exploit kit, and puts your computer at risk of infection by malware).”

The security firm said that users need to look at the “From” field of the email. According to Sophos, tricksters use three o’s in Facebook

They add, “Did you notice what was odd about the email? The ‘from’ address misspells Facebook as ‘Faceboook’ with three ‘o’s.”

So make sure you are clicking on the correct email link. Don’t be fooled!

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Android malware creators caught

Malware developers and hackers have targeted Android users as their new victims. With the influx of smartphones in the market, and Google’s Android being one of the popular operating systems, these scums have set their sights to unsuspecting victims.

But in Japan, 6 individuals who were found to be creating and distributing a malicious app via porn sites have been arrested by authorities.

The app which disguises itself as an adult video player for Android smartphones infects the device that charges a fee when using it.

The Android users that fell victim to the scam have reported that they have been receiving notices every five minutes demanding for them to pay. The notification read: “Please pay the fees as soon as possible. You need to confirm the unpaid amount. It totals 99,800 yen.”

The six who were caught had reportedly earned 20 million Yen from their scamming. About 9,252 individuals have downloaded the app. At least 211 individuals have reportedly paid for the services and fell victim.

Graham Cluley of Sophos said, “This type of attack is very similar to the Ransomware malware that we have seen on Windows PCs in the past. They prevent you from accessing your files or system, and can threaten to expose embarrassing information about you.”


Facebook teams up with security firms to fight malware

Facebook is well known in the social networking industry as they have become the most preferred website to meet and greet friends.

Today, Facebook is venturing into something new. The company is trying to provide you with security to protect yourself from hackers and scammers.

Facebook has setup a market that gives you free anti-virus solutions for you to be safeguarded from the threats of cyberspace.

They offer five anti-virus softwares from different security firms. They are Sophos, Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton AntiVirus, Trend Micro internet security both for PCs and Macs and McAfee Internet security. The versions that Facebook users can download offers up to six months of free security coverage.

The company announced that they are doing this so as to avoid or reduce malware attacks on Facebook users by implementing defense mechanisms and shutting down pages, apps and accounts that can be deemed as harmful to your PC or Mac.

The teaming up of Facebook and these different security vendors enables the social networking site to build a database of malicious webpages so that their members will be protected against them.

So you can download these security applications to protect yourself from lurking individuals.

Take note that you can only download one security application for a single account.

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India tops “Dirty Dozen” list

India has made headlines again as the country was recognized as the top spamming nation in the world.

According to security firm Sophos, India topped the list in a report that they call “Dirty Dozen.” India is joined by eleven other countries in the list.

The sheer volume of junk mail that was traced back to the country was the reason behind the distinction. During the first 3 months of this year, the volume of junk email coming from India exceeded that of other countries including the US.

Sophos added that about 10% of junk email being sent around the globe comes from India.

Technology consultant at Sophos Graham Cluley said, “If you have a spam in your inbox, there’s an almost one in ten chance that it was relayed from an Indian computer.”

Sophos also said that the primary reason to the increase in junk mail being sent in India is due to the fast growth of new Internet users in the country and computers that are not very well protected.

Cluley added, “The latest stats show that, as more first time Internet users get online in growing economies, they are not taking measures to block the malware infections that turn their PCs into spam-spewing zombies.”

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Malware disguises itself as an Instagram app

A new Trojan is currently showing its wears that takes advantage of the popularity of Instagram.

Security firm Sophos discovered this new malware and dubbed it “Andr/Boxer-F”.

Since that fateful day that Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars in cash and stock, the popularity of the app sky-rocketed. A day after the social networking giant acquired the app, the latter became the most downloaded free app in Apple’s App Store. Android users on the other hand are also rising in staggering proportions.

This is the reason why cyber crooks and criminals are trying to cash in. They have been setting up fake website advertising fake Instagram apps. If you look closely at the website, you’d certainly see that it is quite questionable. Once you have been attacked by this malware, it sends expensive international text messages to earn revenue.

So once again we go back to the basics. First, let us not be fooled by these individuals by trying to look closely at the websites that we visit. Is the address correct? Does it look authentic?

Don’t install questionable files to your device as this may lead to unwanted problems. Phishing schemes are common and so be warned.

Better safe than sorry.

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Apple scrambling to get rid of malware

Over 600,000 Mac units have been infected by a malware that gets sensitive personal information from users.

Around the world, people felt that Apple Inc. is too slow in battling and finding a way to eradicate the problem which reportedly first wreaked havoc last year.

Apple said that they are finding and ridding the malware that exploits a flaw in Oracle Corp’s java software. The company has issued patches and temporary fixes and is now starting to develop software to detect and eliminate the malware called “Flashback”.

Unfortunately for them, the cyber community was adamant with the slow action of Apple and for not addressing the issue quickly.

Security specialist at Sophos Paul Ducklin said, “Someone in Apple has broken ranks following the recent revelations of a jolly Big OS X botnet. Apple has – apparently for the very first time – talked about a security problem before it had all its threat response ducks in a row.”

Apple rarely has problem with malware as their closest rival Microsoft’s OS is the one who is normally being targeted by these.

Symantec Corp said that the malware was developed last summer or early fall.

A “Trojan” is a software program that looks and acts like a regular program but opens backdoors into a user’s computer system.

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Latest Trojan disguises itself as game app

A new Trojan is currently scouring the web waiting to infect smartphones that are currently running on Google’s Android OS. This latest intruder is disguising itself as a game app and would send information about the phone to its controller and as well as subscribe you to premium SMS services.

Sophos said that this latest problem goes with a legitimate Chinese game, “The roar of the Pharaoh”. The game is said to be not distributed on Google Play.

According to the security firm’s blog post, “Once installed the malicious application gathers sensitive information (IMEI, IMSE, phone model, screen size, platform, phone number and OS version) and sends it off to the malware’s authors. Like many other mobile Trojans, this once sends SMS messages to premium rate SMS numbers and is capable of reading you SMSs as well.”

The company said that the malware is being detected, which is attached to the game app, as ANDR/Stiniter-A.

Sophos warns that the app doesn’t ask for permission during installation of the app. They added that the malware also attempts to communicate with four .com domains with a path of “tgloader-android.”

They noted that, “Criminals love the free money laundering service provided by mobile phone providers. They can set up premium rate SMS numbers in Europe and Asia with a little difficulty.”

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Facebook app spreads Android malware

A new program called Bouncer was developed for Android devices to ward of malware’s off of their operating systems. Unfortunately, scammers have found a way to circumvent the later to wreak havoc and continue to spread their menacing ways.

Sophos reports that a malware is spreading via the Facebook app. According to Vanja Svajcer of Sophos, she said that he had a friend request in Facebook and checked it using his Android to verify the requester. Once he clicked on the profile of the one who sent the request, it redirected him to another webpage that automatically downloaded a malware to his smartphone.

This new threat is named any_name.apk and it seems like this malware is being used to scoff up money through premium services.

According to Svajcer, this malware uses a class name, com.opera.install, which looks like a legitimate Opera browser app. He adds, “An encrypted configuration file inside the package includes the dialing codes for all supported countries and the premium rate number and text of the SMS message which it intends to send.”

This is similar to clickjacking which often occurs on Facebook. Users are usually shown a seemingly clean link but once they click on it, they are made to answer surveys releasing vital information about them.

Better check the links before you click on it.

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