This post comes as a request from a friend and fellow reader. She noticed on her facebook news feed that a fair amount of her friends where posting the message you see to the left on their walls. So my friend asked if this is some sort of virus?
Well the answer is both no and yes, so please allow me to explain.
With scams like this, people are enticed to check out what the post is about. Once someone visits the link that’s posed there are several outcomes. In the “Girl Who Killed Herself…” post, according to Sophos and Techie Buzz, by liking the page it posts a comment to your wall and it continues to spread by friends visiting and liking it. The scammers then direct you to a survey which allows them to collect data about you. They can then send it to spammers or malicious code could be find it’s way into your computer. In other words, the outcome of clicking on these sorts of links are not good.
I may be mistaken here, so feel free to correct me, but I may have read somewhere that these spammers and scammers are using API technology to build their fake Facebook pages and sites.. I had to do a little asking around about what API is, and to put it plain English, it’s a way for applications to interact with each other and the code is already pre-built, so there’s no need to understand how things work. I have to thank my friends twechy and Ralph over at miio.com for the explanation.
From a social engineering standpoint, these wall posts are amazing. They illicit the utmost curiosity from people, even me included. I cannot begin to tell you how tempted I am to see what those links show you, but being informed about what’s happening keeps me away from that bad news. So, if you’re tempted to click, ask yourself why is it that you’re going to head to a link you know nothing about. Does the story sound too good to be true? It is so outrageous that you have to see? Well chances are it is too good to be true and should be left alone.
I know there are a million of these scams, hoaxes and spammy posts that crop up on Facebook and other social media sites and I’m glad my friend pointed out that she’s been seeing a ton of the “Girl who Killed Herself…” posts. It’s good to understand what’s going on so you can pass the knowledge on to your friends and family.
Below are the links to the Sophos and Techie Buzz post as well as a little more detailed explanation of API
I hope this helps some people out and if you happen to run into something you’d like me to find a little more information about, drop me a line.
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I’ll see you all next post.