The Channel logo


By | John Leyden 31st July 2008 15:25

Feds not scouring Facebook for terrorists (say Feds)

Social engineering used to whip up Storm worm

An FBI-backed organisation has warned computer users to ignore claims that the Feds are scouring Facebook for terrorists.

A new batch of junk mail messages claims the FBI is on the hunt for Jihadist fans of the social networking site.

The claims are a ruse to try and persuade prospective marks to click a link that promises more information, while actually delivering malware designed to add more Windows drones to the Storm worm botnet.

Virus writers often use the promise of celebrity skin or fake news items, the more sensationalist the better, to dupe the credulous into visiting booby-trapped websites. These social engineering efforts are almost invariably woefully lame, but the latest attack has a rare hint of plausibility and invention. After all, Western anti-terrorism agents have reportedly been keeping tabs of insurgents in Sadville. From there its only a short step to think that would-be suicide bombers may have set up shop on Facebook.

Of course, anyone can see that Washington's spooks have much more important things to do than trawl the web looking for terrorists, and the Feds' assurances will surely put most people's minds at rest. But some gullible types find the idea semi-plausible.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a joint partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), has taken the unusual step of warning of the latest Storm front. Trend Micro has a technical analysis of the attack, complete with screenshots of sample messages, here. ®

comment icon Read 13 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe