Threat Management

Phishing apps found on Facebook


A new round of rogue Facebook applications sends notifications that lead users to phishing sites, according to researchers at Trend Micro.

The apps look innocuous, but if installed on a user's account can set off a chain of events designed to lure friends to phishing sites.

“Once this application is added [to an account], it uses the image of one of your friends (because your apps can see any info that you can see) to tell you that someone has generously sent you a meaningless graphic,” Rik Ferguson, solutions architect at Trend Micro, wrote in a blog post updated Wednesday. “It also gives you options of how to respond to this dubious gift, but no button to act on those options.”

Another bogus app sends out notifications about supposed comments that have been made to a user's post. Hyperlinks in the notifications lead to a phishing website prompting the victim for their login credentials to “use the full functionality” of the malicious application. If they do this, their friends in turn are spammed with bogus notifications and hyperlinks to the phishing site.

Best practice: Exercise caution, obviously, when entering login credentials, being careful not to fall for lures to carefully crafted phishing sites.

“Always check the URL displayed in your browser's address bar before entering any sensitive information,” Ferguson wrote. “Also check the true destination of a link before clicking it, by hovering your mouse pointer over it. If it looks suspicious, don't click it.”

He suggested, too, that Facebook users review privacy settings and clear out any applications no longer used.

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