Kaspersky Lab offers free guide to staying safe online in the wake of the latest Facebook phishing attack

15 May 2009
Press Releases

Kaspersky Lab has responded to the latest phishing attack on Facebook with a practical guide for all users of the Internet on how to stay safe online from the threat of Cybercrime. The Internet security vendor advises that malicious code distributed via social networking sites is 10 times more effective, in terms of successful infection, than malware spread via e-mail.

Today it is being reported that the Facebook site has been hit by another phishing attack (a tactic designed by Cybercriminals to steal a person’s identity, gather personal data and use this to defraud the victim of their money). The news follows statistics published by Nielsen Online this week that the social networking site was the most popular website in the UK last month. Meanwhile, the London-based newspaper Metro, reported yesterday that, ‘Brits spend one in every eight online minutes on Facebook.’

A Member of the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab, David Emm explains: “Given the phenomenal success of Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networking sites, it should come as no surprise that it has attracted the ongoing attentions of Cybercriminals and the threat shows no signs of abating.” Emm adds: “Phishing scams succeed by luring in their victims under the pretence of something that at first glance may appear legitimate. Remaining vigilant and taking the right precautions is the key to not falling into their trap.”

Malicious code distributed via social networking sites is suggested to be 10 times more effective in terms of successful infection than malware spread via e-mail. Internet users are far more likely to click on a link received from a trusted friend, rather than a link in a random spam message. Kaspersky Lab has recently seen a massive increase in phishing attacks on the Facebook log-in page. Cybercriminals have been using the site's internal message system to send short messages that direct visitors to a website purposely designed to clone Facebook’s log-in screen.

Kaspersky Lab’s top tips for protecting against phishing attacks:

  • For sites such as Facebook create a bookmark for the log-in page, or type the URL directly into the browser address bar;
  • Don’t click on links in e-mail messages;
  • Only type in confidential data on a secure web site;
  • Check your bank account(s) regularly and report anything suspicious to your bank;
  • Look for giveaway signs of phishing e-mails:
    • If it’s not addressed to you personally;
    • If you’re not the only recipient;
    • If there are spelling mistakes, poor grammar or syntax or other clumsy use of language.
  • Install Internet security software and keep anti-virus updated;
  • Install security patches;
  • Be wary of unsolicited e-mail or IM messages;
  • Be careful about logging in with Administrator rights;
  • Backup your data.

Emm provides a final word of warning: “High profile reports of scams such as the latest Facebook attempt raise awareness of the risk of Cybercrime, but it is important to make clear that it is not an isolated incident, as we are detecting over 17,000 new Internet threats everyday.”

More detailed practical advice and information from Kaspersky Lab regarding how people can minimise the risk of becoming a victim of phishing scams and other attacks from Cybercriminals is being made available in a free guide: The ‘Your Guide To Stopping Cybercrime’ guide can be downloaded at www.stop-cybercrime.co.uk.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the largest antivirus company in Europe. It delivers some of the world’s most immediate protection against IT security threats, including viruses, spyware, crimeware, hackers, phishing, and spam. The Company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users. Kaspersky Lab products provide superior detection rates and one of the industry’s fastest outbreak response times for home users, SMBs, large enterprises and the mobile computing environment. Kaspersky® technology is also used worldwide inside the products and services of the industry’s leading IT security solution providers. Learn more at . For the latest on antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam and other IT security issues and trends, visit www.viruslist.com.