FACEBOOK Challenges - Hacking and Phishing
Protect yourself and PC from malicious attacks
Many of my friends on Facebook reported me yesterday that they received from me the messages with malicious link, that I did not send. Well, somebody hacked my account, used Facebook Mobile feature and happily was sending around Facebook short messages ("Hi, how are you?" or "I have reason to congratulate you" with link(s) that is (are) leading to the page(s) where viruses might be installed on PC. This can happen to everyone, so please get informed how to recognize the symptoms of misusing your Facebook account.
How this all started? Symptomes I noticed were:
- I suddenly found in my e-mail box several messages from Facebook, where people were telling me something like "Thank you Tatjana, I am well, but....and....and then I will......" This was very strange. I do not spend a lot of time on Facebook, so this was unusual excess of my FB popularity.
- After that, one my ex client, chose the opportunity to ask me to "check her with pendulum". This was even more strange, because we were not in contact for almost 6 months, and without "hello" or "happy new year" I just found her message about checking her state. Weird. (Unfortunately, I am used that some people do not have habbit of asking healer "how are you" before starting to talk about their problems, and this made me a little bit angry on her lack of basic "politeness")
- After that, one my friend from whom I am intentionally hidding on FB, because she would like to pointlessly chat for hours (!) for what I do not have time, suddenly started to send me bunch of long, messages through my FB chat box...very happy because I contacted her, what I would never, never do. This was definitely sign of alarm for me. I did not bother to answer her, because she would never let me go, immediately closed chat box, and checked all the messages from Facebook friends I received again.
It was obvious that my profile was sending around the Facebook mobile messages (despite the fact that in Croatia WE CANNOT USE FACEBOOK MOBILE feature) without my knowledge. On the walls of my friend, it was MY MESSAGE at first, usually with "how are u" question and link- that I never send.
My FB account was under attack. Messages activated even when I made new Facebook friendship with one FB user. He also got "How are you" message with malicious link from my hacker.
What to do when your Facebook account is hacked
When I discovered that my FB account has been attacked, I did the following:
- I was for 3 hours busy explaining people that that was not me sending links around. The good thing is that majority of people who know me also know that is not my habit to send around "how are you" messages, so many people checked with me what was all about at first. Some others later on, after checking the link.
- I put announcement on my Facebook Wall and send message to my friends that somebody was misusing my profile through the FB mobile feature (I hope that all people read that)
- I reported problem to Facebook team (press "help" on profile page, then choose "security", there you will find solutions for your issue)
- On Facebook security page, there is very many similar cases reported, so nothing new on horizon, my case is not special at all
- I changed my Facebook password as well as my e-mail password and also deleted every possibility for connection to FB through my e-mail account.
- I have found out that one my friend experienced recently that his FB profile was completely stolen from the hackers, he cannot access it any more because his password was changed, so I immediately deleted his profile. On that way I blocked access of his hackers on the list of my friends. It is very possible that the hackers are same in both cases.
- I cleaned my PC, just in case. Did not find Troyans, neither viruses: only cookies.
On Facebook hacking and phishing is very common thing, and I am very surprised that I something could not do :
- I could not block Facebook Mobile option , although we cannot use it in Croatia. Apparently hacker was sending his mobile messages from other part of the world. None of Facebook users cannot block this option, even if we never intent to use it (neither can, like in my case) . This is very vulnerable option in FB account, because without feedback of my friends, I would never find out what is hacker doing in my name. Facebook Mobile messages are not registered on the wall of the person who is sending them, so hacker can work completely "under the cover".
Why are hackers and malisious links so dangerous
The point of such attack is, when you go to the pages where malicious links lead you, they offer you programs which can be harmful for your PC: viruses, spywares, Trojans.
The most dangerous are certainly Trojans.
Trojans are closely related to computer viruses, but they are not viruses because they do not replicate. Viruses directly harm your computer, and you very quickly become aware of them. Trojans can be even more dangerous then viruses. Trojan horse sits on your PC and waits quietly to be triggered by a malicious user on the Internet. The purpose of Trojan is to let the Trojan master (hacker) take control of your computer. Trojans try to stay hidden so the hacker can continue to have control. Trojans usually do their damage silently.
Trojans can spy on your Internet actions or steal passwords, Internet banking details and other valuable information from your computer.
Trojans can be also used to destroy any or all of the files on your hard drive. Hackers often use a Trojan to turn a computer into a zombie, and then use it to attack other computers on the Internet.
Protect yourself from attack:
Nowadays all of us spend a lot of time on virtual world of Internet. We cannot live without it, many of us earn money online. This world can be peaceful and cooperative, but is also very often wild jungle where human "tigers" and "lions" attack without mercy. Because of money.
Social pages are good for communication, connecting people and marketing - but are certainly very vunerable place for terrorism of hackers. As you can see, your or your friend´s identity can be stolen - temporary or permanently.
Protect yourself with common sense and your PC with high level of security.
And enjoy being online.
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