Money Matters - Simplified

Social network cyber fraud: Zeus Virus targets Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn

A fake fan on Instagram in the world of cyber fraud, can be worth five times more than a stolen credit card number.

Latest Buzz in the cyber world is the cyber fraud virus which targets social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. In this world of fraud a stolen credit card number is five times less worth than a fake Instagram fan.

Latest Buzz in the cyber world is the cyber fraud virus which targets social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. In this world of fraud a stolen credit card number is five times less worth than a fake Instagram fan.

Hackers have gone extremely ahead in trying to create and sell false endorsements such as a simple "likes" and "followers" using their computer skills considering the influence the social networking sites and media have in shaping reputations.

Users of Social media such as Facebook, photo sharing app Instagram, Tweets on Twitter, Google's YouTube, LinkedIn and many other sites design the false likes and the followers as part of altered reputations.

Zeus-the latest credit card data stealing virus:
According to the Cyber experts at RSA, the security division of EMC Corp, the latest cyber world news, Zeus-the credit card data stealing virus has been very indigenously modified to create fake Instagram "likes" that can create a massive buzz not only among individuals but also for a company.

In batches of 1000 on Internet hacker forums, there bogus "likes" are sold where the credit card data and other information is also stolen from the PCs. The fake "followers" can be purchased for $15 where as "likes" for $30 and the credit card data and numbers for a meagre amount of $6, according to the experts at RSA.

Isn't this a little out of the usual where the real credit card numbers and other security information of then user is less worthy than the fake social media accounts? However, according to the online cyber experts if the people are ready to splurge on the Internet for their own personal gain or for the gain of their business, then such a business proposition is definitely a good deal to popularise your new product in the Internet world.

Victor Pan, a senior data analyst with WordStream said, "People perceive importance on what is trending, It is the bandwagon effect." which advises companies on online marketing.

Facebook currently has nearly 1.2 billion users is in the process to increase the security on Instagram as well. Last year, Facebook bought the 130 million active user photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion and promises to have the same security measures that Facebook currently has, said spokesman Michael Kirkland.

Not only will the security of Instagram be improved within Instagram but also malicious and suspicious activity through Facebook sites and links can be reported, he said encouraging the users.

"We work hard to limit spam on our service and prohibit the creation of accounts through unauthorized or automated means," Michael Kirkland said.

Modified Zeus-first piece of malicious software:
The Zeus software which has been recently modified is the first of its kind to post false and bogus "likes" on various social networking sites according to the cyber experts dealing with cyber crime.

"Likes" from the automated software programs can easily be manipulated by the cyber hackers all across the world. The modified version of the Zeus virus controls the computers from further infection from the central working server by manipulating the users to post "likes".

According to the cyber experts at RSA, the users can also be given orders to get involved in specific operations or download some other kinds of suspicious malicious software. This is not the first time cyber hackers have used Zeus to infect hundreds of millions of PCs, it was previously also done 5 years ago when the virus first came into existence, said Don Jackson, a senior security researcher with Dell SecureWorks.

The increasing sophistication of the hackers trying to profit from the trend of the virus targeting the photo sharing app Instagram is a sign of rising importance of social media in marketing.

Buying Bogus social networking traffic has become a trend which is also supported by the Online Marketing consultant Will Mitchell, who advises clients to buy the traffic to make a mark of their own in the Online world.

Will Mitchell replied when asked about the ethics of faking endorsements, "It's fine to do for the first 100, but I always advise stopping after that." Giving an example of a client who bought more than 300,000 "likes" on Facebook against his advice completely destroyed the client's reputation. "It was just ridiculous,Everybody knew what they were doing", he said.

Computer security expert Chris Grier, a University of California at Berkeley research scientist who spent a year working on a team that investigated fake accounts on Twitter said, "The accounts are always just a means to an end. The criminals are always looking to profit".

However, the cyber experts still say that manipulative schemes of influencing social networks are unlikely to take a fall soon. Soon identity thefts can be created using the fake social media accounts rather than the creation of the fake "likes".