Social networkers turned into malware mulesCybercriminals targeting friendship websites

20 April 2010


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Cybercriminals are using unsuspecting social networkers as ‘malware mules’, a security software firm has claimed.

According to Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat report, social networkers are being used by fraudsters to pass on malware either to infect other social network users with viruses, or steal their personal information.

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Email accounts sold for less than a pound

The report, which is published today, details how 'stolen' email accounts are being sold for as little as 65p on the black market, and how these accounts are then used by online fraudsters to send out spam or spread viruses.

Compromised email accounts may also provide access to personal information such as bank account details, as well as passwords to other online accounts, such as social networking sites, Symantec said.

The expert view

Commenting on the findings Con Mallon, Symantec’s security expert, said: ‘The growth in sales of email accounts on the underground economy is a worrying trend. If fraudulent purchases are made on your credit card, you’re covered by your lender and can usually recoup the money.

‘However, if your email account is hacked, who do you turn to? Scarily, scammers could have access to all your passwords for less than a pound.’

See our free guide for details of how to protect your privacy online

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