Last year, Facebook had the dubious honor of containing more spam than other social networks.
In order to combat this scourge, Facebook recently announced a series of improvements to the News Feed to help ensure that spammy content does not drown out the posts that people really want to see from friends and Pages they care about.
“The goal of this spring cleaning is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important and relevant to them,” said Facebook.
The clean-up targets three areas: Like-baiting, frequently shared content, and spammy links
Like-baiting is one of the sneakiest scams on Facebook. It’s when a post explicitly asks readers to like, comment, or share the post in order to increase the number of likes and/or shares; in other words, to “Go Viral.” As we have described in previous posts, the page usually collects the likes, then sells it to the highest bidder to re-purpose for new annoying posts and scams.
Facebook uses this cute animal survey image to illustrate what it considers to be like-baiting. The text asks the reader what their favorite animal is, with pictures asking for likes, comments, and shares.
Facebook found that there was an over-abundance of frequently shared content.
The phishing scam creators are really getting creative. Of course one could question their targeting such in this case. Czech republic is known for our quite lenient view of laws and rules and – especially – the need to pay (or the lack of there off) of any fines especially when imposed by so called municipal police. Who would bother… Hence, an email urging to pay a fine is normally filed directly into the ‘round file’. Known as trash. Well in this case… there actually might be a good reason to look at this closely Read more…
Recently, we’ve noticed that there are too many legitimate domains popping up in our url filters with malware. At first we thought we had a huge false-positive (FP) problem, but after analysis we found a pattern.
All of the referring links came from the Russian Odnoklassniki server, which is a quite-popular Russian social network. Users of that network are getting fake messages with links to photos.
Have you received an email saying a friend tagged you in a photo on Facebook? Use extreme caution before clicking to see photos in the attachment. In a typical phish, cybercrooks are using a fake Facebook photo notification email designed to spread malware allowing them to gain control over Windows-based computers.
Avast Virus Lab detected the malware as Win32:Trojan-gen and added the definition to the database yesterday, so all avast! users are protected.
The email looks innocent enough with the familiar blue header and logo. Serious Facebookers may know that Facebook never sends you photos that you’ve been tagged in as attachments; rather they send links to the photos. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy to notice the difference.
Please share this warning with your Facebook friends, and recommend that they get avast! Free Antivirus, so they’ll always be protected. You can share avast! by clicking on our recommend avast! app here.
There seems to be a playbook of standard hacker tactics after a celebrity death or an event of worldwide interest like earthquakes or tsunamis. Hours after the announcement of pop diva Whitney Houston’s death, scammers had already devised schemes to prey on fans seeking information – appearing to recycle those used after the deaths of Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs.
A Facebook message, claiming to link to a video of Whitney Houston’s autopsy, takes the user to a page with an embedded YouTube video. When you try to play it, a pop-up message appears instructing the user to update their copy of Adobe’s Flash from a bogus site. The video scam has become viral. Read more…
If you work at an antivirus company, be sure that family members will soon ask you questions about computers and the latest malware. Sometimes, they will even send you some. The other day, I got an odd email from my cousin, soon followed by a similar note from my sister that contained this:
The two of them – completely unintentionally – sent me a personalized bit of spam/malware. This was quite nice. After all, there aren’t so many Lyle’s in the world and I thought it was really considerate of some malware writers to address me directly. So I asked Jan Sirmer in the AVAST Virus Lab to tell me about how it was done and the goal of this malware. Here are his comments: Read more…
I’ve seen this happen many times, but this time I decided to get a screenshot of it. In a small box, facebook recommends that I add a friend because we have friends in common… or I get a direct friend request from someone I don’t know. I click the profile to investigate and, indeed, we have several friends in common. But an instinct triggers that something isn’t quite right.
Example 1 – Notice:
- New profile
- No personal information other than “Single”
- Only 17 friends
- All 17 friends are male
- Only 1 photo, with a focal point of breasts and eyes (maybe I should have titled this post “Why men are easy targets for spammers”)
In 2010, AVAST noticed that the majority of malware infections were occurring via infected websites, rather than from malicious email, which had previously been the main culprit.
But good criminals go where they are least expected.
A couple weeks ago I posted an example of a type of phishing email that I’ve since learned is called ‘vishing‘, as it uses voice (VoIP, telephone) as an agent in the scam process. (It reminds me of a public payphone I had to use in Mexico about 10 years ago, which billed me something around $80 for a five-minute call.) Read more…
Last few years can be called a “social networking era”. Just remember the rise ups (and depressions) of myspace.com, linked.in etc. These networks are now completely shadowed by FaceBook and Twitter. Even when myspace and similar networks are not that widespread today, they were at the beginning of all. It becomes more and more usual to identify a real ego with social network profile. That’s not too dangerous in its basis, but there’s a big problem – people completely loose a sense for their privacy on internet. This is not an attitude against social networks, it’s only a thought about dangerous habits appearing with the social networking phenomenon. The risk is not the existence of social networks, the risk is how people behave there.