Facebook hackers selling profile details to criminals

LONDON - Computer hackers are stealing users' Facebook profiles and selling them to criminal gangs for just 89p each.

In the latest cyber crime, hackers are stealing account entry details for the social networking site from unsuspecting punters and using these infiltrated accounts to send spam messages to millions of other users.

These spam messages are usually disguised as links to video clips or photos from family and friends.

By clicking on the spam message, the victims' computers are infected with spyware that records all their keystrokes and copies details, including passwords, when they log into various sites.

Criminals then use these passwords to access users' online banking accounts.

Security experts Trend Micro revealed to The Sun newspaper that a set of credit card details is sold for £25, while internet banking log-ins cost £35 each.

Trend Micro also reported a five-fold increase in internet scams since September, which are all aimed at stealing personal details.

These latest warnings follow on from security firm McAfee's report earlier this month regarding the 'Koobface' virus.

'Koobface' spreads by sending messages to friends of someone whose PC has been infected.

The Facebook messages, with subject headers like, 'You look just awesome in this new movie,' direct recipients to a separate website where they are asked to download an update of Adobe Systems' Flash player.

However, the software is actually a virus, which gives the user an infected computer.

Rik Ferguson, Trend Micro's senior security advisor in the UK, told The Sun: "We give away a huge amount of personal information on social networking sites.

"Hordes of cyber criminals are drawn to them. Whether you're going online to use Facebook, or for banking or Christmas shopping, you should be aware that hacking and identity theft tends to increase at certain times of the year."

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