[Air-L] Facebook virus alert

Ken Friedman KenFriedman at groupwise.swin.edu.au
Thu Apr 28 12:50:46 PDT 2011


My Facebook account seems to have been hacked when I responded to a message from a colleague at a US university that turned out to be a virus. The trick seems to be that the message comes from friends as a fun event to see who has been stalking your page. When you try it, it raids your address book to contact all your friends, and when people use it, the process goes on.

The message is actually a quiz phishing for mobile phone numbers. To get the information from the "game," you take a quiz, but the quiz is itself linked to a mobile phone payment system. The program is activated and spread when you paste it into the URL bar, and by the time you discover that this has happened, it raids your address book, then it contacts your friends.

I spent thirty minutes trying to find out how to report phishing abuse, but the system gets into a recurrent loop without ever allowing me to report this. Since many people on this list use Facebook and some are my Facebook friends, I am sending this warning to the list.

If the virus gets to you and you know how to report this to Facebook, I'd be grateful for you to either do so or perhaps tell me how.

Since Facebook reporting doesn't permit you to make a simple report -- at least not from Australia -- I do not know to stop it.

Most of what I get through Facebook doesn't interest me. The message and information are trivial and I don't use Facebook for any serious email or contact information. I'm thinking of unplugging. If Facebook cannot provide real security help with their billions of dollars, it's not worth remaining on the system. 

For now, my apologies if a message seemingly from me contacts you via my Facebook account. I never contact people through my Facebook account -- I use email.

Best regards,


Professor Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Distinguished University Professor | Dean, Faculty of Design | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia | kenfriedman at groupwise.swin.edu.au | Ph: +61 3 9214 6078 | www.swinburne.edu.au/design

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