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Fake PREVENTING SPAM - VERIFY ACCOUNT message defaces Facebook walls

Fraudulent message has spread like wild-fire


Robert Charlton

7:22 am on May 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I received an email from Facebook late last night telling me that a friend had posted this on my Facebook wall....

Please do your part in PREVENTING SPAM by VERIFYING YOUR ACCOUNT. Click VERIFY MY ACCOUNT right next to comment below to begin the verification process...

Offhand, this didn't sound like something the friend would say. ;) I haven't yet checked the message. But searching the message text etc today came up with a great many articles. Here are two that struck me as useful....

Facebook spam prevention scam spreading like wildfire [theregister.co.uk]
The Register
12th May 2011 10:22 GMT

The growing prevalence of junk messages on Facebook is been used to bait a new scam doing the rounds on the social network.

Prospective marks in receipt of the fraudulent messages are invited to "verify" their account in order to "prevent spam". Recipients who respond to the message by clicking on a link end up sharing it on their wall as well as spreading highly obfuscated JavaScript.

"With all the unexpected Sharing going on, this message has spread like wild-fire," warns net security firm Sophos. "Instead of preventing spam, this particular campaign has been generating it at astonishing rates."

Here's also part of the Sophos article....

PREVENTING SPAM scam on Facebook does exactly the opposite [nakedsecurity.sophos.com]
Sophos Security
May 12, 2011

...If sufficiently many Facebook users dig their heels in every time Facebook makes a gratuitous or confusing change in its interface, its privacy settings or its feature set, then it's possible that Facebook will learn to adapt in ways which best suit the privacy and safety of its users, instead of adapting to improve its traffic and benefit its paying customers.

(Remember that as a Facebook user, you aren't a customer. You're effectively an informal employee, paid not in cash but in kind. Your "wage" is free access to the Facebook system. Your clicks generate the value for which Facebook can charge its customers - the advertisers who benefit from the fact that you use the network at all. Don't sell yourself short.)

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