Most Facebook Scams Are Designed To Feed Affiliate Marketing ProgramsMost Facebook Scams Are Designed To Feed Affiliate Marketing Programs
Fraudulent advertisers are behind majority of exploits, Commtouch study finds
December 29, 2011
Affiliate marketing sites are the final destination in three-fourths of all Facebook deceptions, according to a study released yesterday.
According to the Commtouch Internet Threats Trend Report, a year-end synopsis of Internet threats, visitors to these fraudulent Facebook-promoted sites are induced to fill out surveys that generate affiliate payments for the scammers, victimizing legitimate businesses that pay affiliate fees.
Users are induced to click on the scams through a variety of social engineering tactics, such as free merchandise offers, celebrity news, new (fake) Facebook applications, or simply a trusted friend sending a message stating: "You have to see this!" the report states.
After users first click on the scams, malware or malicious scripts are to blame for the further spread of slightly more than half the analyzed scams, the study says. These exploits fall into three main categories: likejacking, rogue applications, and malware or "self-XSS," it says.
In 48 percent of the cases, unwitting users themselves are responsible for distributing the undesirable content by clicking on "like" or "share" buttons, Commtouch says.
"Facebook scammers are out to make money, and affiliate marketing is a rich source," said Amir Lev, Commtouch's CTO, in a statement. "The same social engineering techniques that malware distributors and spammers have been using for years to induce people to open their unwanted mail or click on malicious links are being leveraged within Facebook and other popular social networks for ill-gotten gains."
Besides Facebook threats, the report discusses Web threats, phishing, malware, and spam throughout the year. The content of the report is based on data from Commtouch's GlobalView Network, which tracks and analyzes billions of Internet transactions daily.
Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Hacking Your Digital Identity: How Cybercriminals Can and Will Get Around Your Authentication MethodsOct 26, 2023
Modern Supply Chain Security: Integrated, Interconnected, and Context-DrivenNov 06, 2023
How to Combat the Latest Cloud Security ThreatsNov 06, 2023
Reducing Cyber Risk in Enterprise Email Systems: It's Not Just Spam and PhishingNov 01, 2023
SecOps & DevSecOps in the CloudNov 06, 2023
Passwords Are Passe: Next Gen Authentication Addresses Today's Threats
How to Deploy Zero Trust for Remote Workforce Security
What Ransomware Groups Look for in Enterprise Victims
How to Use Threat Intelligence to Mitigate Third-Party Risk
Concerns Mount Over Ransomware, Zero-Day Bugs, and AI-Enabled Malware