Everyone seems to know someone who loves salacious gossip and celebrity scandals these days - a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Facebook scammers.
The latest scam to be seen spreading across the social network, hopes to take advantage of the unwary by claiming to link to information about a leaked Miley Cyrus sex tape.
Miley Cyrus has, of course, been making headlines in the tabloids of late for a bizarre Twitter rant against her uber-cool line-dancing dad Billy “Ray” Cyrus in which she appeared to threaten to expose some of his dirty laundry. The fact that she is currently promoting a new single has nothing whatsoever to do with it, I’m sure.
But, more relevant to readers of this site, here are details of the scam that is being seen on Facebook right now in various forms. As you can tell, it’s attempting to take exploit users who are tempted into clicking by the sleazy-looking subject matter:
Clicking on one of these Facebook links will take you to a webpage that displays the all-too-familiar “Like-this-before-we-let-you-see-the-juicy-stuff” dialog, and a request that you “Connect with Facebook”.
Of course, you shouldn’t do either. You should back away immediately. But if you were still tempted by the thought of seeing something horrid involving Miley Cyrus and/or a horse called Dobbin, you might click on and be duped into allowing a third-party rogue Facebook application called “VideoLeaks” access to your profile.
I hope you noticed all the information that you would be allowing the app to access on your Facebook profile if you proceeded, and that it is threatening to post messages to your Facebook page (which will then be seen by your friends) without your vetting.
Sure enough, when I tried it from my test account I found it had silently and sneakily posted a message in my test user’s name, which any Facebook friends could see, inviting them to check out a bestiality sex video.
Not really thing you want to share with your friends, your colleagues, and Aunty Hilda I’m sure you’ll agree.
And that’s one of the reasons why you should always be careful about the links you click on on Facebook, and what apps you allow to access your profile.
There are many scammers out there who are hoping to exploit people’s willingless to act unsafely on the social network to drive traffic to their own sites, generate cash through affiliate links or - in the worst cases - actually install malware, adware and irritating hard-to-remove toolbars onto your computer.
It doesn’t look as though Facebook Security are going to kill off scams such as these any time soon, so thousands and thousands of people every day will continue to be duped. Just as I was writing this, I saw another message spreading on Facebook claiming to be a sex video of “Justin and Selena”, so you know where that’s heading…
You have to take responsibility for your own actions, and revoke the access rights of any unpleasant third-party apps that connect to your profile.
If you want to learn more about the latest Facebook scams, and ways to protect yourself online, like the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.