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Hackers steal 45,000 Facebook passwords

Ramnit worm gets social
Fri Jan 06 2012, 12:46

THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has been hit by a malware worm called Ramnit, which has gained access to the login details of more than 45,000 users.

Security outfit Seculert claims to have discovered the threat and Facebook has confirmed the breach. Seculert claims that most of the victims whose accounts were accessed are in the UK and France.

Facebook said, "Our security experts have reviewed the data, and while the majority of the information was out-of-date, we have initiated remedial steps for all affected users to ensure the security of their accounts."

These remedial steps involve a user's account being 'road blocked' where activity is locked until the user resets their password. The firm went on to say the virus has not been seen spreading on the web site and that it has begun work to step up the level of protection on its anti-virus systems and help users secure devices.

Although Facebook said the virus hasn't been spotted on its web site, Seculert that the hackers behind the malware want to use compromised accounts to spread the virus.

Seculert said, "We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to log-in to victims' Facebook accounts and to transmit malicious links to their friends, thereby magnifying the malware's spread even further."

The Ramnit worm was initially discovered in 2010 infecting Windows executable and HTML files to steal sensitive information. Last year it moved on to financial fraud frolics and now it's gone where many potential victims can easily be found, Facebook.

Facebook is advising users to protect themselves by never clicking on strange links and reporting any suspicious activity they discover. µ


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