Feeds

Dodgy Facebook pages used to power 'spam a friend' joke scam

No laughing matter

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Dubious Facebook pages host rogue Javascript code that creates a means for miscreants to spam people on a user’s friends list, security researchers warn.

Chris Boyd (aka Paperghost), a security researcher at Sunbelt software, explains that the ruse relies on duping prospective marks into completing surveys. Users who complete these studies would inadvertently grant access to their friends list by following instructions on misleading dialogue boxes.

Baits being used in the ruse offer supposed access to the "world's funniest joke", among other ruses. Users are taken through a series of steps that results in them copying and then pasting JavaScript code into their address bar.

Once this happens a “suggest this to your friends” dialogue box will automatically appear briefly on userss' screens before it is replaced by a captcha prompt. Users who follow through will post a spamlink on the news feed of anybody who happens to be their friend.

This spamvertised link, in turn, promotes a fake internet survey aimed at flogging "expensive ringtones, and fake iPod offers, as explained in a blog post (containing screenshots illustrating the scam by Boyd here.

A depressing total of over 600,000 links to four pages containing the malicious JavaScript reveals that numerous users have been exposed, if not already taken in, by the scam.

Sunbelt has reported the dodgy pages to Facebook.

The latest Facebook-related security flap is unrelated to last week's outcry after it was discovered the social network the social networking permitted apps to get silently added to profiles whenever a user is logged in and surfs onto particular sites. The behaviour was used to distribute adware, prompting promises of a clean-up by the social networking site. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.