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Facebook spam linked to Blackhole exploit kit

01 Feb 2013

Firms have been warned about a new spam campaign using messages pretending to be from Facebook, which use the infamous Blackhole exploit kit to infect unsuspecting users' computers.

The security scare was uncovered by Panda Security. It works by sending malicious emails masquerading as legitimate messages from Facebook.

The messages attempt to dupe users into clicking on a malicious link by telling them their account has been suspended.

Panda also warned analysis of the fake message's malicious URL proved it was tied to the infamous Blackhole exploit kit.

"Hovering over the links in the email reveals the real URL, which are not Facebook URLs. When clicking on any of the links, you are presented (after several redirects) with the Blackhole Exploit Kit (aka BH EK)," warned Panda researcher, Luis Corrons in a blog post.

Blackhole is an infamous exploit kit available on numerous online black marketplaces. The kit allows non-skilled criminals to launch automated cyber campaigns.

Panda said the campaign targeted the Java platform but did not clarify what type of malware the link installed on its victims computer.

"It tries to load a Java exploit on the machine by firstly detecting which plugin and Java version you are using... The payload? Probably ransomware or a Banker Trojan," said Corrons.

At the time of publishing Facebook had not responded V3's request for comment on the spam campaign.

Ransomware malware are a type of malware that locks users out of their computer or encrypts files stored on it. The author makes money by offering to undo the damage if the victim pays a fee - even if there has been no damage done.

Numerous examples of ransomware have been discovered across the globe pretending to be from a variety of organisations, including the FBI and the Metropolitan Police.

Most recently, security firm AVG uncovered a new more dangerous version of the infamous Police Ransomware.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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