The Merkle

Faceliker Facebook Malware Makes a Surprise Comeback

Malware comes in many different shapes and sizes. Although most malware strains have something to do with cryptocurrency in one way or another, Faceliker has proven to be a very different creature altogether. As the name somewhat suggests, this malicious tool is capable of manipulating Facebook likes. It turns out there is a lot more activity associated with Faceliker than most people would expect.

Faceliker Popularity Surges all of a Sudden

In this day and age of social media, people want others to like their posts as much as possible. This is especially true when it comes to Facebook, considering this platform has become such a major player on a global scale. Particularly for advertisers, platforms such as Facebook are often a godsend. They can be used to gauge the popularity of specific content based on the amount of likes and times people shared it with their friends.

Unfortunately, the concept of liking content has already attracted individuals with nefarious intentions. Some people have even developed their own type of malware that likes Facebook posts without users actually doing so. According to McAfee, there has been a sudden surge in the popularity of Faceliker, a very popular malware strain capable of taking over browsers. Promoting fake news and social media trends are just two of the potential outcomes of deploying Faceliker on a large scale.

Considering that Faceliker has been around for several years now, it is rather peculiar to be seeing the sudden surge in popularity. The bread and butter of this malware strain revolves around using JavaScript code to perform click-jacking actions. This allows criminals to fake popularity for certain types of content, which increases the chances of others seeing it in the future. Faceliker is mainly distributed through malicious Chrome extensions, which are becoming more popular as well these days.

The latest McAfee Labs Threats Report indicates that Faceliker accounts for 8.9% of all new malware samples detected during Q2 of 2017. At the same time, the report also confirms there has been a major increase in desktop malware detections overall. Although it would appear that Faceliker is all about creating fake Facebook likes, it is certainly possible this malware serves other nefarious purposes as well. Stealing passwords or inserting nefarious ads are just some of the possible consequences in this regard.

For the time being, it remains to be seen how Faceliker will be handled by security companies and Facebook alike. The social media giant provides users with an activity log which lists unusual content in their feeds. If such content is found, users should scan their browsers for any newly installed extensions which may be responsible. Additionally, scanning one’s computer using anti-malware solutions is always worth the effort.

All of this goes to show the malware industry is still firing on all cylinders. That is not a good thing by any means, as criminals are still wreaking havoc on computer users all over the world in many different ways. Facebook liking malware is just the latest trend undergoing a revival, and it is certainly possible we will see similar trends in the future. Like it or not, Faceliker could soon become a real problem.