Malware spreads through instant messaging and social media like Facebook

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Malware spreads through instant messaging and social media like Facebook

Instant messaging (IM) services and social media sites are used for connecting and sharing with others. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are using this to their advantage and malware spreads through instant messaging and social media too.

Trend Micro have identified a worm, known as Worm_Steckct.evl, that is spread by sending private messages on Facebook, as well as other social media sites and instant messaging services. The private message contains a link to download an archive file named, “May09- Picture18.JPG_ www.facebook.com.zip” but actually downloads a file called, “May09- Picture18.JPG_ www.facebook.com”. Files with the extension “.com” are executable program files.

Once downloaded, the malware disables antivirus and anti-spyware software by terminating their processes. It then downloads further malware that monitor your web browsing activity. If you visit sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, WordPress or Meebo, the malware is able to spread itself by posting messages to your contacts containing a link to itself.

Protect your computer for free

Be wary of messages containing files, or links to download files, that are sent via instant messaging services or social media sites, in particular from those you don’t know. When you are downloading files, look at the file name and check the file extension to verify you trust the download.

Make sure you have antivirus and anti-spyware software installed and it’s up-to-date. You can download free security tools here to protect your computer and stay safe online.