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Attacks/Breaches

Facebook Porn Spam Appears Unrelated To Anonymous

Despite initial reports of a link, Facebook spam carrying pornographic images wasn't related to Fawkes, new malware supposedly developed by Anonymous, security experts say.

The torrent of Facebook spam carrying pornographic and violent images that affected many users of the social network earlier this week wasn't related to Fawkes, the new malware supposedly developed by Anonymous. In fact, Anonymous seems to have had nothing whatsoever to do with the attack, despite some security researchers initially suspecting otherwise.

"Some are experiencing an outbreak of pornography on Facebook. This is leading some to speculate that Anonymous is responsible for this, calling this outbreak the 'Fawkes Virus.' I assure you that Anonymous involvement with this is highly untrue," according to a statement released on Tuesday to Pastebin by "AnonymousWiki."

Security researchers had suspected that Anonymous might have been behind the Facebook spam since members of the hacktivist collective had recently threatened the social network. Notably, Razvan Livintz, an analyst at BitDefender, had said Friday that Anonymous has been preparing a hit on Facebook, using malware that it had developed and released in July. His observations were based in part on a video that surfaced on Anonymous Central Friday.

But, the pornographic image spam didn't fit the Anonymous modus operandi, and furthermore the outbreak didn't even appear to be new. "Over the past two weeks we've seen an increasing number of threats, based on the statistics provided by our social media security app Safego," said George Petre, head of social media research for BitDefender, via email. "Most of these threats contained porn images or shocking images."

[Learn 5 Ways Enterprises Can Stay Safer On Facebook.]

Petre was one researcher who had suspected that Anonymous might be behind the Facebook spam. "Since this outbreak followed a relatively quiet period for Facebook threats, and considering the Anonymous video, we wondered if these are related to the Fawkes virus," he told the Register.

"However, we decided 'not' for a number of reasons: firstly it looks like other Facebook outbreaks. In addition, some of the URLs used to spread this kind of worm contained a domain name related to the idea of shopping (laptop-rental-store.info). These are ordinary scams and we believe Anonymous would use something more sophisticated," he said.

Security researchers are still watching Facebook carefully for signs of Anonymous-led attacks since the Anonymous video surfaced Friday. It warned that the collective had developed a "highly sophisticated" piece of malware that they intended to target at Facebook, and which could spread via the social network by sending infected links to people's friends, which would then allow a remote administrator to control those accounts. In addition, it said that the malware could execute arbitrary code on targeted computers and retrieve data from hard drives.

Anonymous said its Fawkes virus would become the latest tool in its attack arsenal. "After the worm is under control, Anonymous will use this to its advantage against corruption and as an alternative attack toward groups who take on Anonymous," it said.

But is the Fawkes virus real or just posturing? A previous Anonymous attack campaign, "Operation Facebook," was quickly dismissed as a hoax by many Anonymous members. Notably, that campaign was to have brought Facebook to its knees by November 5, 2011, aka Guy Fawkes Night in Britain.

Likewise, supposed members of Anonymous had recently taken credit for stealing celebrities' data from CapitalOne, but CapitalOne strongly denied that any such breach had ever occurred. Another hoax involved calls for Anonymous to target the New York Stock Exchange with a distributed denial-of-service attack. But statements quickly issued via official Anonymous channels decried any such call to arms, positing that it had been the work of law enforcement agencies seeking to catch real Anonymous members. As noted by Anonymous members in a Pastebin post at the time: "You must take all notices and information claiming to be 'Anonymous' with a grain of salt."

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QQWE2085
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QQWE2085,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/20/2011 | 12:03:21 AM
re: Facebook Porn Spam Appears Unrelated To Anonymous
Thats where your wrong at there

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
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