Why Facebook locked down 45,000 accounts ?
Facebook has acted to stop the spread of a new variety of malicious software that has stolen login details from 45,000 mostly British and French users.
The Ramnit worm has been spreading since April 2010, but was only recently adapted to target Facebook details, according to computer security experts. It was previously used by cyber criminals to steal login credentials for other services, including online banking.
A “worm” is distinct from a normal computer virus in that it can reproduce itself without needing to attach itself to an existing program. This ability means worms can spread very rapidly online.
The new threat to Facebook users was highlighted this week by Seculert, an Israeli computer security firm. It said most of the users affected so far are British or French.
“Our research lab identified a completely new ‘financial’ Ramnit variant aimed at stealing Facebook login credentials,” the firm said in a blog post.
“It was fairly straightforward to detect that over 45,000 Facebook login credentials have been stolen worldwide, mostly from users in the United Kingdom and France.”