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New Facebook app designed to thwart hackers

Facebook users can lean on a new app to help them fight spam and malware.

Designed by a team of students at the University of California at Riverside, MyPageKeeper is a free Facebook app that continually monitors wall posts and news feeds for malicious content. If the app suspects that any content may contain spam or malware, it alerts you and gives you the ability to remove it.

Beyond protecting your own Facebook account, it can also protect the accounts of friends who may get infected by viruses or hit by spam just by viewing your page.

The app was the effort of Md Sazzadur Rahman and Ting-Kai Huang, two Ph.D. students in computer science at UC's Bourns College of Engineering. The two also worked with a Web protection service called, which was created by Anirban Banerjee, a Ph.D. alumnus from UC Riverside, and Michalis Faloutsos, a professor of computer science and engineering at UC, according to a university press release sent out yesterday.

The team created the app in response to the surge of spam and malware that has plagued Facebook users.

"Facebook is the new Web," Rahman said in the release. "It provides a fertile ground to spread malware, since users trust links and posts that are seemingly from their friends. Hackers have realized this, and they have started using it to distribute malware and conduct identity theft."

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