Computer hackers selling stolen Facebook accounts to gangs

The cyber thieves steal the account entry details from users before selling them on to gangs behind online fraud who in turn send viruses to other computer users.

These gangs send "spam" messages on to millions of other computer users, urging people to click on false video or photo links.

By clicking on the links, people's computers become infected with spyware viruses that can track keystrokes and copy details such as passwords to online bank accounts.

Other profiles being sought by the gangs include login details for MySpace and internet phone company Skype.

Security experts Trend Micro reported a five-fold surge in internet scams since September, which are all aimed at stealing personal details.

Trend Micro's Rik Ferguson said: "We give away a huge amount of personal information on social networking sites.

"Hordes of cyber criminals are drawn to them."

He told The Sun: "Whether you're going online to use Facebook, or for banking or Christmas shopping, you should be aware that hacking and identity theft tends to increase at certain times of the year."

Trend also said a set of credit card details costs £25 while internet banking log-ons cost £35 each.

Earlier this year The Home Office was announced the first specialist internet crime unit in Britain, costing £7.3 million, was being set up by Scotland Yard to fight fraud and organised cyber crime.

An estimated four million Britons have fallen victim to credit card fraud, and internet crime is said to net criminals £50 billion every year. [via telegraph]

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