An old malware program called Zeus has resurfaced once again. This time around, the program is plaguing Facebook users. Users that are targeted by this malware will find their bank accounts drained quickly if precautions aren't taken. Important: here's what you need to watch out for.
What To Spot
When you're using Facebook, it's easy to get caught up in links and hype. It's not so easy to make sure that your guard is up. The Zeus malware program that is currently being spread through Facebook seems to be coming from some NFL fan sites. However, other people have also been targeted through simple Facebook ad clicking usage.
Here's what to look for: any advertisement that includes stars (stars that surrounded a bolded ad should be avoided); any ad that seems too good too be true; and any advertisement that looks curious with symbols and other details. What happens when you click on these links?
Where Your Information Goes
After you've clicked on an infected link, these details go directly to a Russian malware criminal gang. From there, the gang monitors your Internet activity once the malware has installed itself on your computer. As soon as you log into a bank account site (as most people do from home computers or laptops), that gang snags your log in details - it gets worse.
If you currently have a two-step bank account authentication process set up using your social security number or any other identification number, those details will be logged and sent back to the malware gang too. In this case, your social security number can be used to log into a number of different accounts.
The result? You will be left without a dime in your bank account, various other personal accounts can be hacked, and your life will be a mess for a little while. All because you clicked on the wrong Facebook ad. What can be done?
Steps To Avoid An Attack
Facebook isn't going to like this advice, but it's a good way to check out a deal and not become the victim of a malware attack. If you see an ad that looks great, don't click on it via Facebook. Open up a new tab, Google the proposed deal, and head directly to that company's main website. From there, you should be able to see if the ad is real or not.
No company exists? No website? The ad is probably a farce. So, just remember these things: don't click on any ad with bold print; with stars; with amazing deals; and make sure to research that deal outside of Facebook. Otherwise, you might wake up to a nasty malware surprise. Is Facebook doing anything about this issue?
What Is Facebook Doing?
As of this writing, Facebook hasn't weighed in on the problem. Presumably, the social network will shut down the malware ring. But, this could take some time. Meanwhile, it's up to you to make sure that you don't become a victim of these attacks. Spread the word - not the malware!