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


Zeus stealing your passwords and account information

May 24

(and not the ancient Greek god)

The other day I was on my cell phone talking to one of my friends while we were both logged into our Facebook accounts.  We were laughing at some of the humorous News Feeds our friends were posting when all of a sudden my friend told me to hold on because she had received a message in her “in box” from Facebook.  She started reading the message to me and I started to become suspicious about the content of the message. It was instructing her to click on a link to update her security settings.  I told her not to click on the link in the email and to delete it right away.  I had explained to her there are email attacks leveraging Facebook and this scam tries to steal people’s passwords and account information by spreading the insidious Zeus virus.

How this scam works is you receive a phony message claiming that Facebook is offering its users more features or requesting its user to update their security settings.  The message encourages you to click on a link, which takes you to a site where you can purportedly update your account.  You are then brought to a page that prompts you to install an “updated tool” which actually is a Zeus Trojan virus.  Once it’s installed into your computer, the fraudster will have access to stealing your account information, personal information, and passwords to commit identity theft activities against you.

Word of advice:You should always be wary of suspicious or unexpected emails claiming to come from Facebook and you should never click on questionable links or download questionable programs.