The researchers at Kaspersky Labs have uncovered a new Facebook Messenger malware.The malware fools people into clicking on malicious links and attempts to download adware, it uses Facebook Messenger to spread from one user to another. this threat is said to be highly sophisticated and can act differently based on the web browser the victim is using – Firefox, Chrome or Mozilla on Windows, macOS, and Linux users–so, don’t click on any suspicious links sent by your friends. The researchers are still studying the attack and the actual working mechanism remains unknown.
How the malware works
You will receive a message on your Facebook messenger
The message will be from one your connected friends
The message will have your name, the word ‘video’, a shocked emoji ? and then a shortened URL
Now, as the message is from a friend, you will want to click on the link instinctively. If you do, then you will be taken to a Google document. This document will present you with a playable video that will have a background image (blurry) taken from your Facebook profile. Clicking on this video will again take you to a website depending on the configurations of your computer such as the web browser you are using, Operating System, your location, etc. The website that you are taken to will then trick you into installing a malicious software. This software could be a malicious browser extension, an adware or other harmful files.
So, what’s happening here?
Remember, if you are getting this malicious text from a friend, it means their Facebook account might have been compromised by the attacker. And if you fall into the trap, then the attacker might use your messenger account to target others. In short, the Facebook Messenger malware works like a chain reaction – the damage spreads from one victim to another. And in the process, the attackers earn money from the huge amount of clicks generated from the link in the message.
What to do?
If you get any message from your friend (or stranger) on Facebook messenger that contains a link – DO NOT CLICK on it. Call up that friend and ask if they have really sent you any such message. If they haven’t, then it is most likely that their account has been compromised. Advise them to change their passwords and take other necessary steps.
Keep your antivirus software up-to-date so that it can prevent you from landing on fake websites and block the installation of the malicious software that are being spread through this attack.
If you found this post helpful, share it with your friends and peers to warn them against the Facebook Messenger Malware.