Feeds

False Facebook charge group used to spread malware

Malware pokes outraged users

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.