Users of Messenger are being warned of the latest scam spreading around the app, tricking users into clicking unsafe links to websites baited with viruses.
The hoax deceives Facebook users with personalized spam that they can share to all of their digital friends via the Messenger feature.
Messages include the person’s name, a “shocked emoji” and “video”, followed by an infected link.
Users are then directed to a malicious website, some are disguised as well-known sites such as YouTube. The scammer’s goal is to trick people into downloading adware that will spam your phone or computer with adverts:
According to BleepingComputer: “Users who click on the link are directed to different malicious sites depending on their browser.”
- Those who use Google Chrome will be taken to a site impersonating a YouTube channel:
- Firefox users (on both Windows and Mac) get taken to a website gifting people to a fake Flash Played installer:
Writing for SecureList, David Jocoby explained:
“The message uses traditional social engineering to trick the user into clicking the link. The message reads “David Video” and then a bit.ly link.
“The link points to a Google Doc.
“The document has already taken a picture from the victim’s Facebook page and created a dynamic landing page which looks like a playable movie.
“When the victim clicks on the fake playable movie, the malware redirects them to a set of websites which enumerate their browser, operating system and other vital information.
“Depending on their operating system they are directed to other websites.”
If the scam software is successfully downloaded it will glitch your phone/computer into sending and spreading the spam to all of your friends with the trick message.
Victims have claimed that the malware was able to track their keyboard activity on their devise, which is extremely worrying as it could give cyber-criminals access to your passwords and steal your banking information.
Facebook has asked that users report the spam.
The Daily Mail reports that according to Arun Vishwanath, there are some steps you can take to protecting yourself from the Facebook Messenger virus:
“Even using this checklist can’t guarantee stopping every attack or preventing every breach. But following these steps will make it significantly harder for hackers to succeed.
“1) Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Most major online services, from Amazon to Apple, today support 2FA.
“When it’s set up, the system asks for a login and password just like usual – but then sends a unique numeric code to another device, using text message, email or a specialized app.
“Without access to that other device, the login is refused. That makes it much harder to hack into someone’s account – but users have to enable it themselves.
“2) Encrypt your internet traffic. A virtual private network (VPN) service encrypts digitalcommunications, making it hard for hackers to intercept them.
“Everyone should subscribe to a VPN service, some of which are free, and use it whenever connecting a device to a public or unknown Wi-Fi network.
“3) Tighten up your password security. This is easier than it sounds, and the danger is real: Hackers often steal a login and password from one site and try to use it on others.
“To make it simple to generate – and remember – long, strong and unique passwords, subscribe to a reputable password manager that suggests strong passwords and stores them in an encrypted file on your own computer.
” Monitor your devices’ behind-the-scenes activities. Many computer programs and mobile apps keep running even when they are not actively in use.
“Most computers, phones and tablets have a built-in activity monitor that lets users see the device’s memory use and network traffic in real time.
“You can see which apps are sending and receiving internet data, for example. If you see something happening that shouldn’t be, the activity monitor will also let you close the offending program completely.
“5) Never open hyperlinks or attachments in any emails that are suspicious.
“When in doubt, call the person or company directly to check first – and do so using an official number, never the phone number listed in the email.
“Even when they appear to come from a friend or coworker, use extreme caution – their email address might have been compromised by someone trying to attack you.
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