There is a gross new Facebook malware scam using fake news alerts and videos about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to target unsuspecting readers.
According to The Independent, the posts claim to be news articles or videos about finding the missing plane but are actually malware that infects your comptuer.
The posts contain videos that look legitimate and claim the plane has been found in various places, from the Bermuda Triangle to having been spotted at sea, with many stating its passengers are "alive" or "saved". Many of the links are prefixed with the worlds "Breaking" or "Shocking video" to grab people's attention
Right when you think we've hit the bottom of the barrel, someone pops up and says "nope, there's a WHOLE new layer of disgusting crap under that one!"
Some of the links ask people to share pages called "Pray for MH370." Many include links to phony news sites that require readers to "share" the story before they can watch a video. According to Wired.com, some of the headlines used in the scam include:
- "[Shocking Video] Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea."
- "Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea - 50 people alive saved."
- "CNN UPDATE [Breaking]Malaysian Airplane MH370 Already Found. Shocking Video"
It's not the first time hackers have decided to use a tragedy to scam people in a similar way, either:
Chris Boyd [a malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes]says he has tracked hundreds of similar scams related to the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 and last year's earthquake in the Philippines. "They ranged from Malware and 419 scams to fake donation pages and search engine poisoning," Boyd tells Wired.co.uk. "Anything involving a potential disaster is big money for the scammers, as there's a split between clickers with a penchant for salacious content and those who simply want to know if a relative is okay or if there's any more news on a breaking disaster."
Boo. This is some mean old Mr. Grinch shit right here. Plus, I know we all love all the quizzes and surveys and fun Interweb stuff to kill time with, but, as Wired reminds us, just keep in mind to be wary of exactly what you're clicking on.
Any user that fills out associated surveys will be sharing personal information with third party marketers the scammers sell on the information to. "Popular fake scam pages can be shared hundreds of thousands of times, and there's big money in it for anybody willing to plumb the depths of human misery," says Boyd. "There have also been cases of survey networks serving up malware files, so these scams are never quite as straightforward as they seem."
Screencap via Facebook.