Facebook users are constantly targeted by cybercriminals. Why? Partly because they are such a big target…almost 900 million users. Cybercriminals are attracted to the largest group they can find to attack because they can operate more quickly and efficiently in a group that is connected to one central application, in this case, Facebook. The other reason that comes to mind is that Facebook users, like other social networking groups, are very open with their personal information, and for the most part, less experienced in avoiding cybercriminal traps. And, consequently, susceptible to social engineering, the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.
The latest scam is Facebook account cancellation malware, where an email is sent to a Facebook user informing them that an account cancellation is pending and that they can click on a link to confirm or cancel the request. As you might expect, the average Facebook user would rather give up his or her first-born child than cancel their Facebook.com account. Therefore they innocently and blindly click on the link and find themselves giving permission to allow an unknown application (the malware) to take control of their computer and have access to their account.
Hi [email address]
We are sending you this email to inform you that we have received an account cancellation request from you. Please follow the link below to confirm or cancel this request
The Facebook Team
To confirm or cancel this request, follow the link below:
Should you get such an email, simply delete it to avoid having your computer infected with malware that is designed to steal your personally identifiable information and clean out your bank account, or a myriad of other bad results.
The best defense against this type of social engineered malware is to be suspicious of every email you get from someone or some organization which you didn’t expect and which is not a usual occurrence. And when you are suspicious, trust that feeling and delete the email. This practice takes a lot of discipline, but may save you from being the victim of malware.
As always, I appreciate your comments on this subject…so please do. And be careful out there…it’s extremely dangerous these days.
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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.