Facebook was hit with another round of phishing attacks Thursday, cluttering members' inboxes with messages attempting to send them to sites to steal their login information.
Users have been getting messages that appear to come from friends with "hello" in the subject line and links inviting them to check out sites with unusual URLs like "areps.at," "kirgo.at" and "bests.at." When someone logs into one of the sites, scammers take his email and password, block his access to the site, and then send the same URL to all his friends, according to the AllFacebook blog.
The post went on to say that whoever is behind the scam "has been steadily amassing a large number of email addresses and passwords over the past few weeks," with as many as three scams spreading on a given day. Facebook will quickly shut down all references to a phishing site, but usually not before it's spread to thousands of users.
Facebook was previously hit with a spam attack at the end of April when fake messages tried to draw users to sites such as "FBStarter.com" and "FBAction.net." Social networks are inherently susceptible to such scams because of the level of interaction among members and the high click-through rates on messages sent by friends.
In a statement issued Thursday, Facebook said: "The impact of this attack or the previous ones are not widespread and only impacted a tiny fraction of a percent of users. We've been updating our monitoring systems with information gleaned from the previous attacks so that each new attack is detected more quickly."
Regarding Thursday's attack specifically, the company also said that it had already blocked links to the new phishing sites from being shared on Facebook and had added them to the block lists of major browsers. It's also working with partners to have the sites taken down completely and "cleaning up phony messages and Wall posts and resetting the passwords of affected users."
Another Facebook-tracking blog--Inside Facebook--also noted that the company's security team in recent months has been working with Microsoft to fight the Koobface virus, which first appeared on the site last year and has often installed malware on users' computers.