CLEARWATER, Fla., May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — GFI Software today released its VIPRE® Report for April 2012, a collection of the 10 most prevalent threat detections encountered last month. In April, cybercriminals were seen exploiting users of major social networking sites including Facebook® , Twitter®, Tumblr® and Pinterest in order to spread malware and spam surveys.
“In the same way that the popularity of social networking sites makes them a widely accepted tool for businesses to reach customers and elevate brand awareness, it also appeals to cybercriminals seeking a large pool of captive users to be targeted for malware and spam attacks,” said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software. “Established sites like Facebook and Twitter have long been a breeding ground for new cyber-attacks, but now we are seeing scammers taking an interest in the popularity of newer sites like Pinterest in order to catch victims off guard and trick them into clicking on something they shouldn’t.”
Twitter users were the quarry of cybercriminals looking to distribute fake antivirus applications during a particularly vicious spam run which tweeted a link labeled “must-see” from numerous compromised accounts and spam-bots. Followers unlucky enough to click on the links were directed to a site infected with a fake antivirus program. Once installed, the program constantly alerted users that their machine was infected and requested payment to clean up the system. The next day, additional links used the Blackhole exploit kit to infect victims’ machines with malware before automatically sending them to a site that was hosting another scareware program called “Windows Antivirus Patch.”