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The Locky malware is now spreading trough images on Facebook

03 December, 2016, 09:33 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Facebook

Hackers execute their malware code by embedding it inside an image and graphic files shared on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Users on such sites are often more trusting to click on links or images they do not know the source of, making them easy prey for hackers. The attackers then exploit misconfigurations in the infrastructure of the social networks to force users to download the infected image files, which then spread the malware into machines upon clicking on the downloaded file.

"Most people probably consider social media sites to be a safe space, so the lack of concern and vigilance makes it powerful as a potential infection channel for malware".

Hackers use ransomware to attack PCs generally of organisations, after which they encrypt important data and then ask for a ransom against the delicate data.

A Facebook spokesperson expressed that the Check Point's analysis is inappropriate.

However, as user were made aware of the new threat it, in turn, continued to develop as the malware has been extended to JPG files.


Also earlier this year, "Locky" conducted a series of hacking attacks trough Microsoft Office, more specifically by Microsoft Word.

Before Facebook or LinkedIn had a chance to investigate the claims of the Check Point researchers regarding the vulnerabilities the images on their sites pose to users, news sites already started to sound the unwarranted alarm to users.

This recent attack on social media is a different form of Locky as it attacked through emails before. In a statement to Arstechnica, Facebook has blamed some Chrome extensions (or Google indirectly) for the spread of this ransomware. For this reason, users have to be careful about what files are opening and downloading, because it seems that this new method that consists of attacking social platforms and using them as delivery mechanisms are rising among hacking organizations.

According to Hot Hardware, security experts said that users should be wary of what they download online, even if these files are being sent via Facebook or other secure platforms. Previously, the malware used.Shit extension, .THOR extension and now it has.SVG extension, JS and HTA extension. Talks around the industry, suggest that the campaign is still on and it is accumulating new victims every day.

They also seem to be taking advantage of a social network misconfiguration.

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