A six-year-old virus that drains bank accounts is thriving on Facebook, reports Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times.
The virus is spread through phishing messages.
When someone has been phished , their account will automatically send messages or links to a large number of their friends.
These messages or links are usually ads telling friends to check out videos or products. Don’t click them.
Facebook is aware of the problem but it isn’t taking the matter nearly as seriously as it should be, says Eric Feinberg, founder of the advocacy group Fans Against Kounterfeit Enterprise (FAKE).
Feinberg told The NYTimes, “[Facebook isn’t] listening … we need oversight on this.”
The virus is called Zeus. It’s a special type of Trojan horse that has already infected millions of computers. Zeus works by remaining dormant on your computer until you log into your bank account. Once you’re in it steals your password and drains your account.
Zeus targets Windows machines. It does not work on Mac OS X or Linux. The only real way to protect yourself from it is to make sure you only click links that come from trusted sources.
The virus is sophisticated too. Sometimes it can even replace your bank’s website with its own page in order to get even more information like your social security number so that it can be sold on the black market.
Zeus has been around since 2007 and evidence shows that it is only getting more active. The virus is being hosted from computers controlled by a Russian criminal gang that has been linked to online crimes ranging from malware and identity theft all the way to child pornography.