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Facebook scams now spread by dodgy browser plug-ins

Cybercrooks deploy new weapon to pollute profiles

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Con men have developed a new approach towards spreading scams on Facebook.

Instead of using status updates as a lure, the latest generation of Facebook scams attempt to trick marks into installing malicious browser extensions. The plug-ins are supposedly needed to view non-existent video clips supposedly posted by an earlier victim.

Once installed, these malign browser ad-ons spread the scam from one user's profile to another's profiles.

Elad Sharf, security researcher at Websense Security labs, explains: “Scam pages typically utilise social engineering tricks such as enticing you with videos or a free voucher. In this new scam you’re encouraged to install a browser plugin.

"The plugin is an integral part of how the scam is spread and has the ability to propagate by posting in your name on friends' pages. As much as these offers look tempting, if you’re asked to install plug-ins in order to get vouchers or watch a video – remember it could be a trick to spread scams, spam and malware.”

The bogus extensions come as add-ons for both Firefox and Chrome. More details of the scam, including screenshots, can be found in a blog post by Websense here. ®

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