A Trojan that was first spotted in 2007 has made a comeback and is now propagating in the world’s most popular social network to further its crime spree. The Zeus Trojan which Symantec describes as a Trojan.Zbot uses Facebook to spread itself and has already infected millions of computers over the past six years. Aside from Facebook it has also been detected in other social networks.
Zeus uses phishing schemes to infect unsuspecting people. You will be getting a message from an account that has already been phished urging you to check out an ad of a video or a product. Once you click on it your account will also become phished and will also automatically send out the same message to your friends without your knowledge.
The Trojan lays waiting in your computer and only springs into action once it detects an online banking transaction being done. It then steals login information such as usernames and passwords and is sent to its creator to steal your account.
Even if your bank account has been fully drained it will still stay inside your computer trying to find any piece of information that has value which can be sold at the black market.
Managing this illegal activity is a group of cybercriminals known as the Russian Business Network. They are also known to be active in several illegal activities such as child pornography and identity theft.
Facebook and the FBI are said to be investigating this matter some experts believe that the social giant is doing little to combat this threat. Eric Feinberg, the founder of Fans Against Kounterfeit Enterprise (FAKE), said in an interview that “They’re not listening. We need oversight on this.”
One of the favorite targets of this malware are bogus Facebook pages. An example is the “Bring the N.F.L to Los Angeles” which contained infected links.
In terms of geographical distribution, the malware has a huge presence in the USA and UK. It has a moderate presence in countries such as India, Russia, Canada, and France. Some of the less affected areas are Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and a few more European and South-East Asian countries.
Here are a few tips to avoid getting the Zeus Trojan
- Avoid clicking on unknown links
- If you need to check the source of a shortened link try to verify it using URL x-ray
- Have an updated antivirus software
- Use two-step verification on your online banking accounts