Friday, September 05, 2008

Researchers Use Facebook App to Create Zombie Army

Ryan Singel writes on Threat Level:

Computer researchers built a tool that silently turns Facebook users into a powerful zombie army that can attack other websites or scout for vulnerable sites on the net.

All that is necessary to create the Facebook Botnet is to have users choose install a rogue Facebook application written by an outside developer -- in this case, one called Photo of the Day.

Once the user chooses to install the application, the unsuspecting user is inducted into the hacker's army and unknowingly follows orders any time he or she logs into Facebook.

The researchers -- mostly affiliated with the Greece-based Institute of Computer Science -- describe their innovation in a paper [.pdf] as a demonstration of an "anti-social network" -- essentially a hijacked social network that can be used for a number of nefarious purposes.

More here.

Note: See related articles on this issue at Dark Reading and the ZDNet "Zero Day" Blog. -ferg


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