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Cyber security sleuths warn about a new malware circulating in social media

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New Delhi: A new malware is circulating around social media networking sites that steal sensitive personal data and passwords of a user, according to cyber security sleuths.

The malware, which is known as ‘dorkbot’, is a combination of a virus and a worm. It is a deadly virus, which specifically affects Windows operating systems, and has capacity to steal cookies, browser data, passwords, and other sensitive information from the affected computers.

Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) in its recent advisory said: “It has been observed that the variants of malware named as ‘dorkbot’ targeting windows operating systems are spreading. The malware belongs to the family of worms having backdoor functionality and spreads through various vectors, including drive-by-download attacks, social networking sites and compromised websites with browser exploits via removable drives in the form of auto-run exploits or by means of malicious links in instant messaging chats or internet relay chats.’

The advisory added: “To hide itself from detecting by anti-virus solutions, the malware injects its code into files like cmd.exe, ipconfig.exe, regedit.exe, regsvr32.exe, rundll32.exe, verclsid.exe and explorer.exe.”

The malware works by infecting systems by assuming fake identities of social media platforms like Facebook, and then reducing the immunity of systems and making them vulnerable to potential virus attacks. (Photo: http://techgadgetcentral.com)

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Will Facebook accounts be linked to Aadhaar card?

The social media giant did not ask participants in the test to provide their Aadhaar number

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Facebook is not collecting Aadhaar card data Picture credits: Wikimedia commons
Facebook is not collecting Aadhaar card data: Wikimedia commons

After some reports suggested that Facebook was asking new users in India to enter their names as mentioned in their Aadhaar Card when they sign up for an account, the social media giant clarified that it is not collecting Aadhaar data.

From where the rumor emerged

Facebook said it ran a small test to help new users understand how to sign up to the social network with their real name and connect with their friends and family.

“Some have interpreted this test as a request for people’s Aadhaar information… This is not correct,” the company said in a statement.

“The test, which has now finished, merely includes additional language on the account sign-up page to explain that using their Aadhaar name will help family and friends recognise them,” the statement said.

At the point of account sign-up, users who were part of the test saw language that said, “using the name on your Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise you.”

The social media giant did not ask participants in the test to provide their Aadhaar number.

Facebook conducted tests just when the Government was linking Aadhaar to the digital world Wikimedia commons
Facebook conducted tests just when the Government was linking Aadhaar to the digital world Wikimedia commons

The test ran with a small number of users in India and Facebook said it currently has no plans to roll out this test further.

“We are not collecting Aadhaar data and do not require people to enter their Aadhaar name when they sign up to Facebook,” the company stressed.

Facebook has over 217 million monthly active users in India and 212 million of them are active on smartphones. It has 2.1 billion monthly active users globally. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India.

The Facebook test came at a time when the government is asking citizens to link Aadhaar details with their digital lives.

The government recently extended till March 31, 2018, the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN, mobile numbers and several other schemes. (IANS)

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