Craig Johnson, Clark.com
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse for Facebook, who is involved in a huge data scandal, a new problem involving users’ personal information threatens to drag the social network further into controversy.
Criminals have hacked into “tens of thousands” of Facebook accounts by infecting users’ computers with malware disguised as a painting app, according to researchers for cybersecurity firm Radware.
Malware targets 40,000 Facebook’s users, researchers say
The culprit is a third-party app, “Relieve Stress Paint,” which has infected more than 40,000 accounts in a number of days, the firm said this week. The rouse has targeted people’s log-in credentials and those who have payment information linked to a Facebook page.
Social media sites such as Facebook have long been prized targets for hackers. Just this week, cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs said that Facebook deleted nearly 120 private groups on the site aimed at discussing and learning how to defraud people via cybercrime. The groups totaled more than 300,000 members, according to Krebs, who said he alerted the social media site.
The rapid spread of the latest illicit program has led Radware researchers to believe that “this malware was developed professionally.”
“We are investigating these malware findings and we are taking steps to help protect and notify those who are impacted,” Facebook communications manager Pete Voss told political website The Hill.
Radware researchers said that the malware may soon strike the world’s largest online retailer.
“We suspect that the group’s next target is Amazon as they have a dedicated section for it in the attack control panel,” the security researchers said in their report. “Radware will continue to analyze the campaign and monitor the group’s activity. Prior to publication of this alert, Radware has detected another variant of the malware and saw indication of this new version in the control panel.”
If you suspect that your computer has been infected, here’s how to get your computer clean. Money expert Clark Howard says the best antivirus programs are oftentimes free.
“Be sure you’re regularly updating whatever free anti-virus software you get,” he writes. “I recommend that you do it on a weekly basis. Yes, it takes a little while and it’s a pain like being told to floss your teeth. But it’s so important. The paranoid among us will tell you to do it everyday. That’s not bad advice either.”
Clark Howard’s Virus, Spyware & Malware Protection Guide is a valuable resource to helping keep your computer clean.
Here are 2 FREE ways to protect your computer
Here are some free antivirus protection software that runs continuously in the background to keep your computer safe.
- McAfree Site Advisor – For PCs, this program offers safety ratings for links that come up in your search results.
- AVG Antivirus Protection FREE – For PC, Mac and Android, this antivirus software automatically safeguards computers from viruses.