I like MySpace, it brought me over from Friendster and now I use it almost exclusively. I’ve found old friends, new friends, and also a nasty virus which hijacked my profile last week and used my name to post a bunch of crapola ads on the Message Boards. I wondered what the heck happened, how did someone get my login info to post something under my name, and at 3am no less? Now, I have an answer and its a bit scary.
(Continued under the fold!)
According to PC World:
The social networking site MySpace.com is under what one computer security analyst calls an “amazingly virulent” attack caused by a worm that steals log-in credentials and spreads spam that promotes adware sites.
The worm is infecting MySpace profiles with such efficiency that an informal scan of 150 found that close to a third were infected, said Christopher Boyd, security research manager at FaceTime Communications.
One-third???? How is this not a higher-profile issue on MySpace? They have my email, why not email me about the threat and what I can do about it?
MySpace, owned by News Corp., is estimated to have at least 73 million registered users.
Which suggests there are more than 24 million infected users. What a massive phish scam!
The worm works by using a cross-scripting weakness found around two weeks ago in MySpace and a feature within Apple’s QuickTime multimedia player.
If an option in the bogus menu is clicked, the user is directed to a fake log-in page hosted on another server where the person’s log-in details are captured. This phishing-style maneuver is similar to another recent attack aimed at MySpace users.
Websense has posted a screenshot of the fake log-in page.
Lesson? Don’t login to MySpace if it looks even the least bit suspicious (could be a fake page). The problem there is that legitimately MySpace requires that you periodically login after a while, or to change a feature. So, its hard to determine ‘real’ login queries from the scam ones. And to how it spreads?
Additionally, the worm places an embedded QuickTime movie on the user’s profile, which will then repeat the infection process for anyone who visits the profile.
The worm has another malicious function. Once a profile is infected, the worm sends spam to other people in the user’s contact list.
The (possible) group behind the worm has already been fined by the Federal Trade Commission. Not surprising.
Those spam messages contain a file that appears to be a movie but instead is a link to a pornographic site that also hosts adware from Zango, Boyd said. Zango, formerly 180 Solutions, settled in November with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for $3 million because of complaints it didn’t properly ask the consent of users before its adware was installed.
Also, beware of profiles set up JUST to spread the virus. If a young, pretty girl wants to be friends with you out of the blue, chances are it might be a scam. So, until resolved, you’ll just have to be more careful about who you approve as a friend. If the profile looks pretty generic (walks on the beach anyone?), also beware.
(Hat tip Bob Abu)