20/09/11

Pornographic movies posted on Facebook walls? Hoax spreads like wildfire

Blue movieA hoax is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, claiming that hackers are posting pornographic movies on users' walls which are invisible to the owners of the wall but are visible to friends and family.

You can imagine how that would be pretty embarrassing if it were true. Fortunately, it's nonsense.

Here's what a typical message looks like, spread by a Facebook user who thinks they are warning their friends - but really perpetuating the hoax.
Movie hoax on Facebook
ATTENTION FRIENDS! HACKERS ARE DOING DAMAGE AGAIN ON FACEBOOK! PORNOGRAPHIC MOVIES ARE BEING POSTED ON OUR BEHALF ON THE WALLS OF OUR PROFILES! WE DO NOT SEE THEM, BUT OTHER PEOPLE DO, AS IF IT WERE OUR PUBLICATION! SOMETIME EVEN OUR SUPPOSED Comments APPEARS. IF YOU SEE SUCH A THING IN MY HOMEPAGE, ALERT ME AND DO NOT OPEN IT BECAUSE IT IS A VIRUS! ...COPY AND RE POST THIS MESSAGE
The message is, of course, nonsense and users should not repost the warning.
We have not seen any evidence that hackers are able to post content to a compromised Facebook wall that the owner of the account cannot see.
The fact that the bogus warning tells you that it's invisible to your eyes just adds to the panic, of course.

Yes, scammers have often posted thumbnails of what appear to be pornographic videos to compromised Facebook users' walls, but we have never seen any incidents where the post was *invisible* to the user.

Although a hoax is nothing like as bad as a piece of malware squirming its way between users and stealing information, it's still a nuisance, clogging up communications, increasing the overall level of spam and perhaps leading people to make bad decisions.

There's an important lesson here - don't believe everything you read on the internet, and think twice before you pass a story on to your friends.

Keep your wits about you and stay informed about the latest scams, hoaxes and malware attacks spreading fast across Facebook. One of the best ways to do that is to join the Sophos Facebook page, where more than 100,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

nb : nakedsecurity.sophos

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