Koobface is a computer worm that targets users of the social networking websites Facebook , MySpace, hi5, Bebo, Friendster and Twitter. Koobface is designed to infect Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, but also works on Linux (limited fashion). Koobface ultimately attempts, upon successful infection, to gather login information for FTP sites, Facebook, and other social media platforms, but not any sensitive financial data. It was first detected in December 2008 and a more potent version appeared in March 2009. A study by the Information Warfare Monitor, a joint collaboration from SecDev Group and the Citizen Lab in the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University Toronto, has revealed that the operators of this scheme have generated over $2 million in revenue from June 2009 to June 2010.
Koobface spreads by delivering Facebook messages to people who are ‘friends’ of a Facebook user whose computer has already been infected. Upon receipt, the message directs the recipients to a third-party website, where they are prompted to download what is purported to be an update of the Adobe Flash player. If they download and execute the file, Koobface is able to infect their system. It can then commandeer the computer’s search engine use and direct it to contaminated websites. There can also be links to the third-party website on the Facebook wall of the friend the message came from sometimes having comments like LOL or YOUTUBE. If the link is opened the trojan virus will infect the computer and the PC will become a Zombie or Host Computer.
Among the components downloaded by Koobface are a DNS filter program that blocks access to well known security websites and a proxy tool that enables the attackers to abuse the infected PC.
Several variants of the worm have been identified:
* Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.a, which attacks MySpace
* Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b, which attacks Facebook
* WORM_KOOBFACE.DC, which attacks Twitter
* W32/Koobfa-Gen, which attacks Facebook, MySpace, hi5, Bebo, Friendster, myYearbook, Tagged, Netlog, Badoo and fubar