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Security Response

How to Survive Being Popular

Created: 04 Mar 2009 22:12:43 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:37:06 GMT
khaley's picture
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Don’t you remember the group of mean girls that had it out for the Prom Queen? The only reason they were so mean to her was because she was popular. If she had been the runner-up, they never would have played all those mean tricks on her. Facebook is the same way. It’s currently the Prom Queen and all the mean girls are after her. Take the recent Koobface attack, for example. Yet another new variant of this threat has shown up on the site. That’s right—mean girls again. Don’t worry, if you’re a Symantec customer you’re protected. And Facebook will get things under control quickly.
Here another way the mean girls are out to get Facebook. Phishing attacks. We’ve been warning users about this since the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Vol. XIII. The one currently making the rounds lands in your mailbox. Users will receive an email that looks like this:

Those with sharp eyes will note that this is NOT a Facebook URL. It’s a phishing attack. Sent by spammers, not Facebook. Always check the link. 
If you fall for the phony email and click you get sent to this site:

Again, despite the look of the page, it is NOT Facebook. And, you’ll discover that you can’t run the video without downloading a media player, which in reality is a Trojan. We’re detecting this one as Infostealer.Snifula.C—a Trojan that tries to steal info off of your computer. Many thanks to Vikram Thakur for the research on this one.

Oh, here’s an important point. The mean girls are not really after Facebook; rather, they are after you. Any site this popular is going to draw the attention of the mean girls. They want to exploit the Prom Queen’s popularity. Facebook has a few suggestions on protecting yourself:

1.    Never click on suspicious links
2.    Have a unique, strong password
3.    Run antivirus software

Hey—the Prom Queen is not only popular, she’s smart, too.