False Facebook charge group used to spread malware
Malware pokes outraged users
Updated A false rumour suggesting that Facebook is to start charging is being used to bait malware traps.
Thousands of disgruntled punters, angry at the $4.99 a month charge for using the social networking site that will supposedly kick in from June (or July, according to other false reports) have been induced to visit "protest group" sites in response to spam emails. However, in reality, there is no such plan and the protest pages often contain malware, as urban myth debunking site Snopes warns:
The protest page was a trap for the unwary; clicking on certain elements of it initiated a script that hijacked users' computers. Some of those who did venture a click had their computers taken over by a series of highly objectionable images while malware simultaneously attempted to install itself onto their computers.
Snopes published its warning on 31 December, but groups on Facebook itself protesting the supposed upcoming charges remain active almost two weeks later. A quick check on one such UK group contains no scripting unpleasantness directly, but it does link to numerous third-party sites whose provenance remains suspect. Searching for "Facebook charges July 2010" leads to fake blog entries as well as some legitimate results, evidence of an ongoing black hat SEO campaign of a type commonly used to punt rogue security scanner software over recent months.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the charging rumour was false, adding that it was prepared to clamp down on groups spreading the bogus gossip about social networking fees.
We have removed the largest groups, however, we didn't find any malicious links. We take security very seriously and respond quickly to user reports of suspicious content and behaviour.
Despite Facebook's actions the rumour of supposed charges continues to circulate, creating an environment that may be abused in further black hat SEO attacks. ®
What part of "this is a hoax" did you miss?
Why are you responding to an article about a hoax by taking the hoax at face value and letting us know what you intend to do about it? You're just the kind of sucker who goes and joins up to these stupid groups for stupid reasons like "just in case what if it's true this time?".
That's not a "freetard". That's a "numpty".
I love the protest groups
I love hearing how angry people get when they believe that facebook is going to start charging to use it's service.
They just don't seem to realise that doing so will be suicide as rival social network sites will be very happy to accept refugee members from facebook!
Those people who were duped into believing this deserve everything they get!
that Zuckerberg was unable to use his prophetic abilities to foresee this...
This is as Elmer Phud says just a great example of human nature. Panic, react and at some point later on think about it and realise you have once again been conned/scammed/shown to be a blinkered sheep.
I recently had about 12 copies of the Sony Ericsson "sweet" laptop deal, send it to 10 people and receive a free laptop...straight away alarm bells rang so I did a quick Google search and lo and behold...it was fake. We are to quick to trust everything that is said on the internet, if someone came to your door and said they would give you a laptop if you gave them 10 friends names/addresses you would tell them where to get off, so why are we so quick to believe all these scams etc???
Oh by the way...in August The Reg is going to charge for it use. Go to www.downloadavirustoyourpcandspendloadstoremovescarewareandviruses.net
to sign a petition against this...