While Facebook can be a handy tool for connecting with friends, family and annoying co-workers, it also sports the same bullseye donned by the Windows OS and Adobe Flash platforms: they're huge targets for hackers. It's not uncommon to see someone's hacked account spewing out messages about a cool bogus video that only leads to trouble. That said, Symantec has arrived to the rescue with a new term that should put a big smile on faces across the globe, "likejacking" (no lie).
"The allure [of eye-catching taglines] is undeniable, but often, these video clips are actually 'likejacking' attacks, where clicking will result in users "liking" the video and posting it to their own wall," the company said Thursday. "Worse than being embarrassing and annoying, likejacking could even be used by cyberscammers to infect PCs or steal identities."
According to Symantec, the volume of likejacking attacks varies from day to day. Based on Norton’s analysis of a sample of 3.5 million posts with videos on August 2, up to 15-percent of unique posts were identified as likejacking attacks. To help Facebook users combat against these particular attacks, Symantec has updated the free Norton Safe Web for Facebook application. The app will now identify URLs or videos that are likejacking attacks, based on Norton’s analysis of millions of posts.
"Each time Norton Safe Web for Facebook scans the news feed, likejacking detections are displayed as part of the scan report and posted to the user’s wall so their friends are warned against clicking on the link," the company said.
Symantec originally launched Norton Safe Web for Facebook back in May 2010. As previously indicated, the app scans URLs that appear in the Facebook feed over the past 24 hours. When the test is completed, it will describe each link as either Safe, Untested or Warning. The Norton app even follows shortened URLs back to their original sources to verify their legitimacy.
In addition to updating the Facebook scanner, Symantec has also launched the Norton Cybercrime Index that measures and warns people about daily cybercrime risks around the world.
"The Norton Cybercrime Index's number changes daily to indicate the day’s threat level, based on an algorithm that calculates data from multiple sources," the company added. "It also includes commentary on each day’s threats and advice for staying safe online. Fans of Norton’s Facebook page can share useful information about cybercrime and the tool itself with friends, helping them protect against ever-evolving Internet threats."
Facebook users concerned about malicious links appearing in their news feed should go here and install the free app. But be warned: we will not be held responsible for any uncontrollable outbursts of laughter caused by the tern "likejacking."