Irish-themed Facebook scams start to emerge

18 Apr 2011

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While cyber criminals are known to use global disasters like earthquakes in Japan to issue ‘shocking news’ scam messages, for the first time Irish-themed spam messages have started to emerge.

Security firm ESET has warned Irish users only to click on genuine messages from friends.

The new attacks are a derivative of the “Roller coaster accident in California” scam and are titled “Roller coaster accident in Ireland.”

These clickjacking scams propagate spam messages to the walls of victims’ friends or infect computer users’ machines with malware.

The scam, which claims to link to a video, asks users to agree to give the application developer full access to their basic information and the right to post to their wall.

This gives the scammers permission to spam their message on the users’ wall for their friends to see.

“One should never give untrusted third-party applications this much access to their profile,” said ESET’s Urban Schrott.

“After allowing this, the scam further asks the user to complete a survey (and the cyber criminal receives money for each survey completed), and then willingly or unwillingly the user gets to download some software, which usually contains malware. If the survey asked for a mobile number, the user’s mobile could also be charged for some bogus service.

"Irish Facebook users are therefore warned not to click on suspicious posts by their friends, as this is the only way to prevent the spread of the scams. While antivirus software may prevent malware infection on their computers, it cannot prevent further spread of Facebook scams and further infections of their friends,” Schrott said.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com