A new worm that spreads using a photo album chat message lure began proliferating across Facebook over the weekend.
The photo lure is used to hoodwink potential users into downloading a malicious file, which appears in the guise of a photo viewing application. Victims are prompted to click a "View Photo" button.
Gullible users who fell for the scam became infected by malware, dubbed Palevo-BB by net security firm Sophos. The malware attempts to generate a message to the victim's Facebook contacts, continuing the infection cycle.
Facebook responded by purging the malicious application.
Similar social engineering trickery is much more commonly used to hoodwink users into completing worthless surveys, possibly handing over personal details in the process or signing up to expensive text message services.
Survey scams have become almost a daily pest on Facebook.
For example, one survey scam lure doing the rounds over the weekend falsely offered a news update of the death of famous rapper Tupac Shakur.
The use of social engineering trickery to spread malware instead of simply tricking users into filling out worthless surveys suggests that cybercrooks might be upping the ante. The latest Palevo-BB worm is not the first malware strain to use Facebook as an infection avenue.
The most prolific social engineering network worm to date has been the infamous Koobface worm, a strain of malware used to deliver potential victims to scareware scam portals or carry out click fraud. Palevo-BB uses similar lures but is not as sophisticated in design as the earlier Koobface worm. ®