Facebook: Ramnit Outbreak Isn't As Severe As Thought

The widely reported attack on Facebook users by the rejiggered Ramnit worm was not as severe as originally thought, according to the social network.

The widely reported attack on Facebook users by the rejiggered Ramnit worm was not as severe as originally thought, according to the social network.

While reports said the Ramnit worm gained access to more than 45,000 Facebook user names and passwords, mostly from France and the U.K., Facebook told ZDNet’s Friending Facebook blog the number was actually much lower, as much of the data were obsolete

A spokesperson for Facebook said:

Last week, we received from external security researchers a set of user credentials that had been harvested by a piece of malware. Our security experts have reviewed the data, and while the majority of the information was out-of-date, we have initiated remedial steps for all affected users to ensure the security of their accounts.

Thus far, we have not seen the virus propagating on Facebook itself, but we have begun working with our external partners to add protections to our anti-virus systems to help users secure their devices. People can protect themselves by never clicking on strange links and reporting any suspicious activity they encounter on Facebook.

Facebook said the worm was not spreading via the social network, but rather via desktop browsers, adding that more than one-half of the affected passwords were expired. The company had reviewed and checked every single logon within 24 hours of receiving the list of ones that had been compromised.

It looks like Facebook and its users dodged a bullet on this one, but both can never be too careful.