24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 10:59

Facebook news feeds beset with malware

Category: Technology

Published: 24th Nov 2010 15:22:30

One fifth of Facebook users are exposed to malware contained in their news feeds, claim security researchers.

Security firm BitDefender said it had detected infections contained in the news feeds of around 20% of Facebook users.

By clicking on infected links in a news feed, users risk having viruses installed on their computer.

Facebook said it already had steps in place to identify and remove malware-containing links.

BitDefender arrived at its figures by analysing data from 14,000 Facebook users that had installed a security app, called safego, it makes for the social network site.

In the month since safego launched, it has analysed 17 million Facebook posts, said BitDefender.

The majority of infections were associated with apps written by independent developers, which promised enticements and rewards to trick users into installing the malware, BitDefender said.

These apps would then either install malware used for spying on users or to send messages containing adverts to the users' contacts.

Facebook has a thriving community of independent developers who have built apps for the social network.

The vast majority enable users to tweak their Facebook pages, adding widgets, games or extra functions, such as delivering daily horoscope predictions.

Facebook said it had processes and checks in place to guard against the risk of malware.

"Once we detect a phony message, we delete all instances of that message across the site," the site said in a statement.

Crooks have targeted social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter because of their vast number of users, said Rik Ferguson, a security researcher for anti-virus maker Trend Micro.

"Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they're an attractive target for malware writers," said Ferguson. "You're more likely to click on a link from someone you trust."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2010. Facebook news feeds beset with malware [Online] (Updated 24th Nov 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/110630/Facebook-news-feeds-beset-with-malware [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Alstom shares jump on GE takeover bid report

    Shares in French engineering company Alstom have jumped after a report that US multinational General Electric is in talks to buy Alstom for $13bn.
  • Ulster Bank faces further computer problems

    Ulster Bank has faced further problems with its computer systems.
  • Man arrested over Johanna Young death

    A man has been arrested over the murder of a teenage girl who went missing more than 20 years ago.
  • DJ Dave Lee Travis denies indecent assault charge in court

    Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of indecent assault against a woman, aged over 16, in January 1995.
  • Borders to Edinburgh railway: Carlisle extension would be 'wonderful'

    A council leader has said extending the soon to be reopened Borders railway to Carlisle would be "wonderful news".
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com