Have you spotted messages on your Facebook newsfeed about the U.S. attacking Iran and Saudi Arabia in a bid to start World War III? Not to worry, the messages are bogus and aim to spread malware, security firm Sophos warned on Friday.
The nefarious status updates read: “U.S. Attacks Iran and Saudia Arabia. F**k :-(. [LINK]. The Begin of World War 3?”
Clicking on the link, however, directs users to a fake CNN news story purporting to contain video footage about the supposed invasion, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant Sophos, wrote in a blog post. After pressing play, users are told they need to install an update to Adobe Flash to view the video.
“Of course, it’s not a real Flash update, but malware instead,” Cluley wrote. As a precaution, users should always download Flash Player updates from the official Adobe Web site, he recommended.
Just three hours after the malware campaign emerged, some 60,000 Facebook users were duped into visiting the malicious link. Facebook said it is actively taking down the malicious updates and helping users regain control of their accounts, according to reports.
Researchers are not sure how the messages are being shared on Facebook profiles, Cluley said. It’s possible that malware already on users’ computers is covertly updating their statuses.
Late last year, Facebook newsfeeds were hit with explicit images, including photoshopped photos of Justin Bieber in sexual situations, after attackers duped users into copying and pasting malicious code into their web browsers. Facebook later said it had identified the spammers responsible for that attack.Agencies