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Want to be friends on Facebook? Don’t click the link!


Hot on the heels of last week’s malicious attachment spam, we are now observing another large malicious spam campaign – this time without attachments. Like the majority of last week’s campaigns, this spam is being sent out from the Cutwail botnet.

The message arrives as a fake Facebook friend invite notification. The message looks convincing, it appears the spammers have copied the actual Facebook template and substituted their own links. However, there are clues it is fake. The message doesn’t contain any profile photos, and they have omitted the recipient’s email address in the fine print at the bottom.


By contrast, here is a legitimate Facebook friend request.


Clicking the link fetches a web page that contains two ways you can infect yourself. First, there is a link pretending to be an Adobe Flash update where you can download and install malware manually. Second, there is a hidden iframe that loads data from a remote server hosting the Blackhole Exploit Kit, which attempts to automatically exploit vulnerabilites on your system, notably Java.



The malware that is downloaded appears to be a data stealer Zbot variant (Virus Total report here).

Impersonation of the big social networks’ email notifications is an increasingly common tactic of the spammers. Be wary out there, not everything is as it seems.


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