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Perimeter

Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
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8/17/2010
06:45 AM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
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Fake Facebook Dislike Button Latest In A Long Line Of Survey Scams

Facebook users are proving to be easy prey for the current wave of survey scammers.

Facebook users are proving to be easy prey for the current wave of survey scammers.A message spreading rapidly across Facebook via users' status updates made the headlines earlier this week, promoting what appeared to be a "Dislike" button for the popular social network.

I just got the Dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!!

I just got the Dislike  button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!!

But as I explained on my blog, clicking on the link definitely wasn't a good idea, as it was just the latest example of a survey scam spreading virally across Facebook.

This latest attempt to drive unsuspecting users to revenue-generating online surveys used the same tried-and-tested formula used in the past by other viral scams, including "Justin Bieber trying to flirt", "Student attacked his teacher and nearly killed him", "the biggest and scariest snake," and the "world's worst McDonald's customer."

In all of these cases, users are directed to a rogue Facebook application asking for permission to access your profile. Unfortunately, if you grant it permission it will then post spam messages from your account and ask you to complete an online survey (the scammers earn commission for every survey that is completed).

Facebook app requesting permission

Here'a video that shows one of these scams in action:

As Facebook grows in strength, it will become increasingly important to educate its userbase about security threats. More and more hackers and scammers will target its 500 million users, taking advantage of a platform that is operating system independent to send spam, spread malware, and steal identities.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his award-winning other blog on the Sophos website, you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

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