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Hoax Facebook apps may contain malware

Social networkers being urged to think before they install apps

Hackers are targeting Facebook users with a hoax application that attempts to steal personal information for ID fraud.

Security firm Sophos said a number of social networkers reported receieving notification messages saying their friends have had problems viewing their profile after they installed an app called 'Error Check System'.

Although the notifications were bogus and in this instance no sensitive data was stolen, Sophos says that may not be the case with other applications, especially since Facebook doesn't approve applications before they are made available on the site.

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"Facebook applications are very popular and once all your friends have downloaded the latest must-have, it's very tempting to follow suit," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"But, installing all applications sent your way, could open up serious holes in your security and allow hackers to gain access to your profile and the information stored on it. Just like with other computing applications, it's essential to exercise caution when you're not sure of the origin - just because your friends have downloaded it, doesn't necessarily mean it's safe."

See also: Facebook hackers increase attacks

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