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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.

 

Identity theft’s new face

May 06

Koobface Scams

Recently, a cousin of mine texted me that she received a message from a friend through her Facebook account notifying her of a YouTube video she and I were in.  This was a concern to me because I would never post a video of myself on YouTube, and not only that, I’d never made a video with my cousin.  That’s when I called her right away and, just in time, told her not to click on the link.  I informed her that it could be a scam to steal her identity.  My cousin ended up deleting the message.

There’s a fairly new profile stealing people’s identities via the Internet and its name is “Koobface”.  This scam is usually operated through social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and the victim will receive a message telling her/him, “you look awesome in this new video”.  If the user takes the bait and clicks on the link, the Koobface virus is instantly installed in to the computer, at which time the virus goes about its business gathering credit card numbers and other sensitive information for identity theft purposes. According to a research conducted by Cisco, they estimate that Koobface has now infected more than 3 million computers and anticipate it will be a major problem in 2010.

If you happen to be a Koobface victim, it’s fairly easy to get rid of.  You can install anti-virus software which will automatically find and destroy it. Or you can locate two files in your Windows directory named “tmark2.dat” and “mstre6.exe”, and delete it immediately if found.  Find more details on detection, files affected, removal, on the McAfee Web site. 

For the most part, the best protection would be not to click on any links that appear to be suspicious and to call friends or family first to verify whether they really did send you an email to check out a YouTube video.  Keeping this in mind will save you the hassle of trying to get rid of Koobface.

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