Fake Twitter, Facebook Survey Leads to Disturbing Virus

Dennis Faas's picture

Australian police services are today sending out a warning to all Twitter and Facebook users. It seems that online scumbags are targeting social networks, using a local hot topic of debate in order to solicit a curious click, which in turn infects PCs with a nasty virus and an even nastier payload.

The debate is in regard to a new mass-transit ticketing system that is currently under development in Australia. Users are lead to a fake survey page, where then infects PCs with a Trojan virus. Once infected, the virus automatically downloads and stores highly illegal and distasteful images of youngsters -- all without knowledge of the PC user.

Fake Transit Survey Links to Highly Offensive Images

The fake survey surrounds the MYKI system (pronounced "my key"): a contactless smartcard ticket system being introduced to public transport systems in Victoria, Australia. Plans call for MYKI to replace a number of ticket systems across the country, including the Metcard (metropolitan Melbourne) and V/Line (regional) ticketing systems.

MYKI is currently in its final year of a three-year introductory period that began in December 2009.

The topic is considered the perfect hook for curious Australians, since thousands of people use the transit system daily and the MYKI is still the subject of frequent debate between parties in favor of the new changes and those who remain loyal to the Metcard and V/Line.

MYKI Virus Appears as Email Attachment

In addition to Twitter and Facebook, some users have reported that the MYKI virus has also appeared as an email attachment.

After opening the malicious link, victims are greeted with a supposed "endorsement" by Victoria Premier John Brumby, who asks "Are you confident that the MYKI system will perform flawlessly?" (Source: canoe.ca)

The link then reveals itself to be a bit.ly (a website commonly used by social networks), which then automatically redirects the user to an illicit web page and downloads the images.

Australian Police Investigating Attacks

Fortunately, Australian police services have been notified of the malware and can trace back the pictures to see their original link source.

Police say that they already know of nine people who have made the mistake of clicking on the infected link, but many more victims are expected to surface in the coming days. (Source: winnipegsun.com)

Officers have apprehended a man who is believed to have played a central role in the case, but no formal charges have been laid.

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