New online security threat targets Facebook passwords
Facebook's overwhelming popularity has had the unfortunate effect of attracting the advances of cybercriminals in record numbers. Just this week, online security analysts discovered that a notoriously powerful strand of malware may now be setting its sights on the passwords protecting social media accounts.
According to Seculert, the internet worm in question is Ramnit - a malicious program that has been infecting files and stealing financial data as early as April 2010. Since the hackers behind Ramnit shifted to target social media, at least 45,000 Facebook passwords have been stolen to date.
"We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to login to to victims' Facebook accounts and to transmit malicious links to their friends, thereby magnifying the malware's spread even further," analysts explained. "In addition, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the fact that users tend to use the same password in various web-based services to gain remote access to corporate networks."
By heeding expert advice and deploying a preventative strategy, such as a password organizer tool, consumers and business professionals can limit their exposure to potential disasters ranging from identity theft to corporate espionage.