A recent scam which is turning into rather successful Facebook scam promises its readers of seeing a provocative photo of Miley Cyrus. More and more individuals are becoming its victims in the recent past without knowing it.
It all starts with a message which says, "SICK! I lost all respect for Miley Cyrus when I saw this photo". The message is then followed by either a sizeable blinking button on the screen or a shorten link pleading you to "CLICK HERE". If you click on the link then it means the scammers have been granted permission to access your personal data and subsequently post status messages. This is how this scam is thinning out. You might see a similar message posted by your friend which will make you think that it is real, hence enticing you to click on it.
Sophos senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley, wrote on the company's blog "We have seen a number of different URLs being used in the messages, but they all redirect to a page which shows a traffic sign-like image of the word 'Respect' crossed out in red". Although for a lot of individuals it is hard to believe that people are allowing this to happen yet it is spreading really fast. When people, who are really desperate to view Miley Cyrus’s picture which will make them lose all respect for her, click on the button or the link they are redirected to a CPALead survey. This survey allows the scammers to earn money every time their questionnaire is filled/submitted by the users. Only a few people are required by the scammers to complete their survey and making it financially viable to develop rogue applications like this. This is the reason why there are so many applications like this on the Facebook. Things would have been different if only Facebook had taken a tougher line about the applications which are allowed on its network. However, you can still delete references to the scam from your news feed if you did get bitten on this one. You can choose to revoke the right of rogue applications to access your profile by visiting: Account -> Privacy Settings -> Applications and Websites. The fact that anyone can write a Facebook application makes this networking website such an attractive place for developers. Not just that, the application can be made available to over 500+ million users without any vetting by Facebook's security team. Unfortunately, a number of these third-party applications are developed with malicious intent. The basic purpose behind their design is stealing of information, spreading it virally, or spamming unsuspecting Facebook users. As a user of Facebook one should make sure that these kinds of scams are completely avoided. Some of very general tips on how to protect yourself on the Facebook include following:
- Any suspicious link, message or post should not be clicked right away. Instead it should be made sure that the post is genuine and the other user has posted it and not some rogue application.
- Watch out for any message, post or link that requires an additional login
- An up-to-date browser which features an anti-phishing blacklist should be used
- Unique passwords and logins for every websites you access should be used
- You should always ensure that you are logging in from a genuine Facebook page i.e. domain named Facebook.com and not some other fake website claiming to be Facebook