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Hacker Hawking Facebook Accounts at Rock-Bottom Prices

Hackers Now Selling Facebook Accounts
Even though Facebook is loaded with spam and scams, the service has maintained a reputation as being the trustworthy social network, largely thanks to its requirement that users post their real names. The public's trust makes hacked Facebook profiles a valuable commodity for those who make their livings in the Internet black market. Researchers at VeriSign are tracking one hacker's efforts to sell hijacked accounts to those who would spam your friends or fool them into sending cash or log-in data.

The hacker, who goes by the name kirllos, has been offering bundles of 1,000 Facebook accounts for rock-bottom prices on hacking forums. The accounts, which he sells for $25 (if the accounts have less than ten friends) or for $45 (if they have more than ten) set off alarms at VeriSign. Facebook spokesperson Barry Schnitt told the New York Times that the company had tried to purchase a bundle of accounts from kirllos, but that, at that point, the hacker had yet to produce any log-in information.

Hacked Facebook accounts being used in 419 scams is a major problem -- big enough to warrant warnings from the FBI. But the low prices being asked for bundles of 1,000 accounts (less than $0.05 even at the high end) raises questions. It could simply be an indication that harvesting passwords via phishing scams and malware is much easier than many expect, or it could mean that many of the accounts are created using a bot similar to the one that surfaced last fall. It could also be simply, as Facebook believes, that the accounts don't exist and kirllos is keeping prices low in hopes of luring in more "customers."

Of course, as Facebook spokesperson Simon Axten told the Times, hacked accounts don't translate to immediate profits. Scammers will still have to work to trick other users into handing over money or sensitive information. If everyone learns to observe the basic rules of safe browsing, the would-be scammers will have only wasted their money. [From: New York Times]

Tags: facebook, facebook scam, FacebookScam, phishing, privacy, scam, second-life, Securities and Exchange Commission, security, socialnetworking, spam, top, verisign, web