Sophos Antivirus Company reported on Monday – March 14, 2011 – that Internet hackers have taken advantage of the recent Tsunami crisis in Japan to spread fake links on new videos from the quake scenes on Facebook social network.
On clicking the link, the user is taken to a fake YouTube website (YouTube is the world’s largest free video hosting platform). Once the user clicks on “Play”, the video appears as a “Liked” item on the user’s Facebook profile/wall. The hackers expect that unsuspecting friends of the compromised will be compelled to click on the link, and will in turn get compromised. This is one way hackers spread spam on Facebook – by exploiting through trust relationships.
Finally, the “Play” button takes you to a page promising a purple iPad, on the condition that you fill out a questionnaire. They ask that you provide your email address and sometimes a mobile phone number, with which they propagate their spam messages.
Users of Facebook and alternative social media sites whose profiles may have been compromised should endeavour to delete these links from their walls immediately to minimise the spread. Users are also advised to be careful when they open links from unauthorised or unqualified sources, even when these sources appear to be a trusted friend. Your friend may have been hacked.