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Facebook Criticised for Impairing Cybercrime Investigation

Facebook has been criticised for releasing the details of the group behind the Koobface worm, out of what it claims was frustration for the slow pace that law enforcers were working.

The social network claimed that the gang had been scamming users for the past three years and had made at $2 million during that period. Even though the scam was going on for so long, Facebook claims that law enforcement had made very little progress in its crackdown attempts.

However, now organisations including the anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab have criticised the actions of Facebook, with others also joining the finger pointing.

"Naming and shaming can stop companies like Facebook really dealing with things like Koobface," said Stefan Tanase, a senior security researcher at the firm. He went on to explain that by outing those involved, it gave them time to cover their tracks and would eventually lead to them not being charged for their crimes.

Other anti-virus company F-Secure agreed with this, saying that publicly naming criminals "undermines any efforts" to arrest the individuals involved. However, considering Koobface has been around since 2008, it's easy to understand the frustration that Facebook must feel.

While it might be a very short term gain solution, at least publicly naming those involved might halt the practice for now while they attempt to cover their tracks.

Koobface is a multi-platform worm that has used social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, Myspace and others to spread. It offers malicious links disguised as legitimate ones, which when clicked downloads the Koobface worm. From there it attempts to steal login information for FTP and social sites and adds the infected machine to a botnet.

Source: The Telegraph

Dipping his toes into almost everything that could be labeled 'nerdy' in his free time, Jon has been writing about technology for over half a decade. While mainly focusing on PC hardware thoughout this time, today he's more varied, covering everything from gaming to general electronics, industry perspectives and consoles. As well as writing for different sites, Jon enjoys wargaming, reading and PC gaming, hoping to balance out these geeky pastimes with fire spinning and MMA.