01/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Facebook Virus "Koobface" Threatens 120 Million Users

A new Facebook virus has users in its sights, and IT professionals are scrambling to alert users not to download suspicious files.

Facebook's 120 million users are being targeted by a virus dubbed "Koobface" that uses the social network's messaging system to infect PCs, then tries to gather sensitive information such as credit-card numbers.

It is the latest attack by hackers increasingly looking to prey on users of social-networking sites.

It harkens back to another Facebook virus that took advantage of users increasingly comfortable with clicking to sites they're not familiar with and using embedded applications.

Facebook malware attacks to date have largely consisted of getting user credentials via phishing sites and then spreading spam and additional phishing attempts. But a new worm is disseminating through Facebook that aims to install trojan software on a user's machine.

The worm spreads when a compromised user's account is used to send message to others with a title such as "LOL. You've been catched on hidden cam, yo:" and a link to a random URL. The linked website is a YouTube-like page that shows a video player along with what looks like a standard browser message to update your Flash installation. Clicking on the button begins a malware installation of a file called "codecsetup.exe." We didn't go so far as to install the software, but our guess is that it zombies your computer, installs a keylogger, and other fun stuff.


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