Tips & Advice

Don’t click on the porn video your Facebook friend shared

Deborah Salmi, 18 March 2015

Don’t click on the porn video your Facebook friend shared

Fake Flash Player updates fool Facebook users.

facebook-fake-flash-small Facebook users get malware from clicking on fake Flash Player updates.

Facebook users have fallen victim to a recycled scam, and we want to make sure that all of our readers are fore-warned. Cybercrooks use social engineering tactics to fool people into clicking, and when the bait comes from a trusted friend on Facebook, it works very well.

Here’s how the scam works – your friend sends you an interesting video clip; in the latest iteration you are tagged and lots of other friends are also tagged - this makes it seem more trustworthy. The video stops a few seconds in and when you click on it, a message that your Flash Player needs to be updated for it to continue comes up. Since you have probably seen messages from Adobe to update your Flash Player, this does not raise any red flags. Being conscientious about updating your software, as well as curious about what happens next in the video, you click the link. That’s when the fun really begins.

The fake Flash Player is actually the downloader of a Trojan that infects your account. Security researcher Mohammad Faghani, told The Guardian, …” once it infects someone’s account, it re-shares the clip while tagging up to 20 of their friends – a tactic that helps it spread faster than previous Facebook-targeted malware that relied on one-to-one messaging on Facebook.”

How to protect yourself from Facebook video scams

Don’t fall for it. Videos that are supposedly sensational or shocking are also suspect. Be very cautious when clicking.

Does your friend really watch this stuff? If it seems out of character for your friend to share something like that with you, beware. Their account may have been infected by malware, and it’s possible they don’t even know this is being shared. Do them a favor and tell them about it.

Be careful of shortened links. The BBB says that scammers use link-shortening services to disguise malicious links. Don’t fall for it. If you don’t recognize the link destination, don’t click.

Use up-to-date antivirus software like Avast Free Antivirus with full real-time protection.

Report suspicious activity to Facebook. If your account was compromised, make sure to change your password.