SOURCE: BitDefender


February 11, 2011 08:02 ET

Valentine's Day Still Gets Social Network Accounts Into Trouble

BitDefender Urges Extra Caution as Millions of Users May Be Caught in Holiday Inspired Social Scams

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - February 11, 2011) -  Social networks are intensively used by Valentine's cyber-scammers seeking to hijack user accounts or to simply flood them with spam, according to BitDefender®, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions.

BitDefender is urging users to be extra cautious this year as well and to watch out for the following scams that could put their accounts at risk:

  • Messages that promise to share Valentine's Day insights -- By accessing the link to and allowing an application that promises to reveal "12 things a girl wishes a guy knew," for instance, social network users risk having their walls -- and their friends' pages -- flooded by unwanted automatic posts.

  • Messages that promise to reveal the existence of secret admirers -- While this may be quite an attractive perspective, social network members should not fall into the trap. By allowing this kind of applications to be installed on their accounts, they enable the scammer to automatically post unwanted messages on their walls and on their friends' pages.

  • Messages that help spread Valentine's versions of well-known Facebook scams -- For instance, the classic "see who viewed your profile" scam turns into "my ex is the top stalker of my profile. see who stalks your profile too" for Valentine's. The application behind this scam will generate fake posts on the victim's wall and on his/her friends' pages. As these posts appear to be coming from someone familiar and as they refer to fake Facebook discussions in which several of the victim's friends appear to have engaged, the scam is very likely to spread fast. When spotting this kind of posts, users should double-check that the sender's account isn't compromised.

"Holidays have been a strong source of inspiration for social scammers for many years now. Valentine's-themed scams, though expected and predictable, are still quite successful because of their emotional appeal. Every year, millions of users follow all sorts of suspicious links in the hope finding "the one." Social networks are there to encourage bonding and the exchange of information, but users should also be aware of the traps they may fall in within these environments," said George Petre, BitDefender Threat Intelligence Team Leader.

As always, BitDefender safego is there to help users keep their social network accounts safe.

About BitDefender®
BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender security solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's Malware City provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.

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