It’s not the first time that spammers and malware writers have used a tragic public event to spread malware on Facebook, but the latest are fake videos purporting to show “breathtaking” or “unbelievable” footage of the Japanese tsunami.
These links, when clicked, will take you through to another website where you will be required to perform additional actions such as clicking further links in order to view the the video (which doesn’t exist!)
In performing these actions you will be giving the malware writers valuable information, especially if you “like” the app and have personal information such as your home address, telephone and mobile phone numbers and your email address on your Facebook profile. Such malware, and there are a great many on Facebook and other social networks at the moment, could even require you to download and install a plugin or codec to watch the video. Such a file will certainly be malware of some variety such as a bot or keylogger.
Simply clicking on the main link for most of these “apps” will post a link to your wall saying that you like it. This is most commonly how these malware apps will spread. Should you see one on the wall of a friend, you may want to notify them or post a message under it informing people of its real purpose.
The tsunami which hit Japan last week after a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake has killed thousands of people, with up to 10,000 people still missing from a single coastal town, and caused billions of dollars of damage including critical damage to one nuclear reactor and further damage to two others.
Past events where spammers and malware writers have tried to exploit users on Facebook and other social networks have included the death of Michael Jackson and the Indonesian tsunami of 2004.
Here at gHacks we wish to send our continuing sympathies for those people from around the world who have been affected by the earthquake, and especially to those people in Japan who are continuing to be affected by this tragedy.
We urge you to pass the word around about these malware links and, if you can afford it, to donate a small amount of money to help those in need through your local Red Cross, Red Cresecent or other disasters charity.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.