18 August 2006

myspace users hit by hacker virus

MySpace users hit by hacker virus
12:29pm 18th August 2006

Users of the popular MySpace website have been warned by computer experts that viruses linked to the interactive site, which boasts more than one million regular users, are in circulation.

Experts believe that hackers have hit the hugely popular site and say the viruses in circulation can change settings, delete files, secretly track users' movements online and even damage computers.

They believe that the hackers have hidden dangerous software on the site which means that computers can be attacked unaware to users while they are just viewing pages.

"There is a very real threat to users of MySpace, and in fact we have already seen several MySpace specific viruses emerge," Graham Cluley of computer security company Sophos told the Standard Lite newspaper.

The site is hugely popular, especially with teenagers, and it has recorded growing numbers of users in recent months, now accounting for 4.5 per cent of all internet traffic.

However, its popularity has also led to it becoming a target for scams.

Mr Cluley believes the current virus can be blamed on the site's teenage appeal.

"The problem is that people tend to let their guard down because they think the site is safe. But even a picture of a fluffy bunny rabbit on the site can contain a hidden piece of software that could harm your machine," he said.

"We've also seen pages that contain code to automatically spread viruses through MySpace's buddy system, which lets you add friends to your profile."
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