Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beware, Hackers Now Use Images To Spread Ransomeware In Facebook And Linkedin

To be forewarned is to be forenamed, those  are not my words exactly, they've actually being in existence longer before me, but most individuals do not really know or care for the meaning of that expression, but all the same, if you know of something before it happens, that knowledge will give and advantage over that unpleasant situation when and if it actually happens.

Facebook is really a great website, and the number one social platform, used by billions of people all around the word, to connect to things that matter to them, things that interest them, according to Alexa.com, Facebook is the third most popular website in the world and in America, before Google and YoTube with over 9million site linking in. 

It is used by many individuals, business, organizations, to advertize their brands, good and services to a larger audience. The popularity and the high usage of Facebook is one of the reasons the website is the ground zero for many hackers, scammers and individuals with mischievous intents, and sadly, unwitting individuals gets attacked and becomes a victim of cyber crime.

Facebook Hacker, Facebook hack, facebook ransomeware

In recent times, in this age of vast advancement in technology, many individuals now have several means and resources to acquire and develop their computer skills. Some of these individuals go beyond their way to use their knowledge and skills to help others and make positive changes in the world, for some reasons, some do monitize their skills and use it as a source of income and livelihood. On the other hand, some individuals made a vow to use their skills in computer to harm and inflict pains on others, by writing a malicious line of codes and giving it various names like Cerber3, Quadrooter, etc and then deploying  those codes into the internet, like a fisherman casting a fishing net into the sea, with the intentions of catching preys and victims.


Less than two weeks ago, when Whatsapp update for video calling feature was going viral, there was an attempt made by some nefarious minds, to attacked people through Whatsapp by circulating a link, which claimed to be an invitation from Whatsapp itself to tryout their Video call. user were warned to be aware of such links and do not under any circumstance, click or accept the link in any way, because the link was not from Whatsapp, it was rather developed and generated by hackers, to attempt phishing. It recently came to light that hackers now use pictures to set traps in various social media with Facebook and Linkedin being the most starting point. 

According to Checkpoint, a security research firm, it was revealed that hackers  now use images in .JPG format  to spread a ransomeware called Locky Ransomware in Facebook and LinkedIn. The ransomware is targeting the unsuspecting Facebook and Linkedin users and tricking them to download malicious images to their computers or any other device which they use to access the website. Once these malicious codes that are disguised in JPG Images enters into the victim's devices, it runs automatic scripts and then encrypts their personal data.

Locky Ransomeware

Once the user files are encrypted, the user will receive and instruction which could come as a picture in the desktop background, or their browser automatically opening a webpage, which will display with a written instruction by the hackers, demanding that the victim should pay a certain non-negotiable amount of money in Bitcoins, so that their files will be decrypted. 

These cyber attacks and ransomeware flying around doe not mean that the internet is no longer safe for use. The internet is always safe for use if you meticulously apply some certain safety measures like:

1.    Do not download  any file with an unknown or unsual extension, and be sure to download from trusted parties.

2.    Downloading a picture should be your last resort. You can easily take a screenshot of a particular image if you love that picture so much and would like to have it saved to your device. take screenshot of that image and then use any of the windows photo software program to crop and edit the unwanted parts of that image to your test.

3.    Always use preview mode, it was meant and kept there for a reason!!!

4.    Use a good antivirus program with all premium and paid features intact. (I recommend Eset or Bitdefender).

More and more people are joining and using social media and daily basis, and this makes it a populous and fertile land for cyber criminals. Share this posts with many people as many as possible, let them be informed and be aware of these new methods employed by these cyber criminals. You could be saving them from having a bad experience or falling a victim. 

Have you been a victim before? Have you or someone you know become a victim in the past? Tell us your experience, what safety measures have you employed to ensure that it doesn't happen again?




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