Can you really see who viewed your Facebook profile? Rogue application spreads virally

Filed Under: Facebook, Rogue applications, Social networks, Spam

Once again, a rogue application is spreading virally between Facebook users pretending to offer you a way of seeing who has viewed your profile.

As we've described a couple of times before, plenty of Facebook users would *love* to know who has been checking them out online.. but unfortunately scammers are aware of this, and use the lure of such functionality as a way to trick you into making bad decisions.

Messages spreading rapidly across the Facebook social network right now say:

OMG OMG OMG... I cant believe this actually works! Now you really can see who viewed your profile! on [LINK]

OMG OMG OMG... I cant believe this actually works! Now you really can see who viewed your profile!

If you're tempted to click on the link you're taken to a webpage which encourages you to go a little deeper and permit an application to have access to your Facebook profile.

See who viewed your profile!

Rogue application requests access rights

But do you really want complete strangers to be able to email you, access your personal data and even post messages to any Facebook pages you may administer?

If you've got this far then you really shouldn't go any further. Scams like this have been used to earn commission for the mischief makers behind them, who have no qualms about using your Facebook profile to spread their spammy links even further.

Because if you do continue, you'll find that your profile will be yet another victim of the viral scam - spreading the message to all of your online Facebook friends and family. And no, you don't ever find out who has been viewing your profile.

OMG OMG OMG... I cant believe this actually works! Now you really can see who viewed your profile!

Ever wondered how many people fall for a scam like this? Well, the figures can be shocking. This current campaign is using a variety of different links - but via bit.ly we can see that at least one of them has already tricked nearly 60,000 people into clicking.

Stats for bit.ly link

I've informed the security teams at both bit.ly and Facebook about these links, and requested that they be shut down as soon as possible.

Always think before you add an unknown application on Facebook, and ask yourself if you're really comfortable with ceding such power to complete strangers. Rogue application attacks like this, spreading virally, are becoming increasingly common - and do no good for anyone apart from the scammers behind them.

If you've been hit by a scam like this, remove references to it from your newsfeed, and revoke the right of rogue applications to access your profile via Account/ Privacy Settings/ Applications and Websites.

Here's a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account:

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

And don't forget to warn your friends about scams like this and teach them not to trust every link that is placed in front of them. You can learn more about security threats by joining the thriving community on the Sophos Facebook page.

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37 Responses to Can you really see who viewed your Facebook profile? Rogue application spreads virally

  1. Maria Galpin · 1427 days ago

    Actually I fell for this scam but as soon as it began to ask for privacy settings changes I canceled and went to reset my privacy and security settings. It is nasty how these things tempt us to click!
    Thank you for staying on top of all this stuff.
    Maria

  2. Question: Why can't you know who has viewed your profile? I'd like to know.

    • Mark · 1427 days ago

      Rocketmaster,
      I've read it's against the terms and conditions of FB membership.

      • micky doll · 1387 days ago

        Besides that,who cares who looks at your profile. If they are on your friend list and you have your privacy settings set to only friends, then what does it matter? Your profile is there for your friends to view, that is what it is there for. To share your info., photos, videos, etc....

        • Tra · 1132 days ago

          Lots of people would like to see their statistics, there are many companies on FB and self employed people who would like to see marketing strategies

    • EddieWHAT?!?! · 1290 days ago

      IMOHO
      I think its because less people would be on facebook if everyone knew who was looking at their profile. Think of how many people get on just to check out other people's pages, and wouldn't want them to know they were looking. I know Im guilty of doing it. Not saying this is the only reason, but the last thing Facebook wants are less users.

  3. Does anyone know exactly what damage this 'virus' does? So far I've heard no explanation of the damage this application causes, and if anyone knows would appreciate knowing. It's not that I have any doubts whatsoever that it's dangerous, but feel the entire story isn't being told so far.

    Do they steal data, trash your computer, take your first born child? What does it 'do'?

    I for one always remove such posts from the feed whenever I see them to prevent spreading them.

    • kaz · 1424 days ago

      it is mostly info gathering and them they use your account/page to spam others

  4. marianne · 1426 days ago

    It's something like this, but it's another link and a viral spam that has spread among me and my friends' wall, now I can no longer make posts and comments on my facebook account, all it does is post a link. Does anyone out there know how to fix this? I've run my antivirus already, but it did not help :"(

    • Regl · 1424 days ago

      try unsubscribing to the thing from your account/ privacy settings.

  5. Alfred DeRose · 1425 days ago

    Why the cagey headline? The answer to your own question seems to be "No, it's a scam!" Wouldn't something warning users that this si a scan straight away be the right thing to do?

    • Andrea · 1423 days ago

      You would think so, but the fact is more people are interested in finding an app that works. Those are also the exact same people who should read this through so that they can learn how to identify a scam. Those who are unlikely to fall for the scam knew the answer was "No, its a scam!" before reading this.

    • Kate · 1408 days ago

      Alfred:
      As a journalist, all I can say is that this particular headline "did its job" drawing the reader into the story. Well written; nothing more or less.

  6. J. R. · 1424 days ago

    Does any one know if the myfacebookstalker website works? is it a scam?

    • Actually, some of my friends did it, and by the results ( very inaccurate) , ppl who NEVER wrote on their wall's were in the top ten. And needless to say, the same was true for me. While not seemingly a scam, it is a waste of time

  7. sohep · 1424 days ago

    Author never answered his own question. Can you see who looked at your profile, AND the makers of this illicit functionality are also spammers/scammers?

    • kaz · 1424 days ago

      "Because if you do continue, you'll find that your profile will be yet another victim of the viral scam - spreading the message to all of your online Facebook friends and family. And no, you don't ever find out who has been viewing your profile."

      see last line of paragraph

  8. rbs · 1424 days ago

    it's hard for me to understand why anyone would want this feature. like it or not, the entire concept of facebook is largely predicated upon the idea of being able to view other people's profiles without them knowing it. even though you post pictures, etc. of yourself for the explicit purpose of letting others see them, the idea of someone actually viewing them at a particular time is creepy. it's a subtle distinction, but a real one. we all look at each others info, and that's the whole point. but if you knew that every time you looked, that person would know it, you probably wouldn't. unless they were close friends of yours.

    this is exactly why facebook will never allow this. overall participation would drop drastically. yeah, it'd be great to see who's looking at your profile. but it would only remind you that the people you're checking out can see you, too. and that'd be enough for a person like me to leave fb altogether.

    • Dan Holloway · 1397 days ago

      I agree with rbs. I know I check out other peoples posts because they are really interesting. But I would feel awkward knowing that they knew.

    • Me · 268 days ago

      So you would have a look if such a tool was available then? I bet you would...its a fine line we are all curious but none of us would like to be exposed as looking at strangers profiles. Stuck between a Narcissist and a Stalker..... I be honest. I would love to know, yeah maybe the woman or man...it would be as close as possible for the average person to read someones mind. Not many would turn that down.

  9. I have not encounter this but, I am pretty careful before I click onto any links. In fact, I am very skeptical when I am ask to click on to links that I have no knowledge.

  10. wow this is really great information for facebook users :)

  11. Sparky · 1419 days ago

    One thing I don't quite understand is why Facebook can't (or doesn't) nip these things in the bud. Isn't there some type of application approval process in place -- or are they so desperate for attention that they'll sacrifice their faithful users by knowingly and willingly letting this kind of stuff through?

    Have you asked the Facebook team this question?

    Sparky

  12. Arpita · 1419 days ago

    All are fake buddies, don't go by these links...

  13. julio e castro otto · 1413 days ago

    ...gracias como salubrista y sociatra pienso que es como en la vida misma desde antes de nacer estamos expuestos a todo tipo de riesgos, peligros y amenazas ...feliz día...

  14. Athena · 1390 days ago

    I saw that OMG!! scam at a web page of a popular teen musician and when I wrote "malware' in the comment line, FB popped-up and said my account would be suspended if I wrote "malware" again. I have since deleted my account. FB does nothing to protect its members. I think FB is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • latrollin · 856 days ago

      you fail it's a scam I wrote malware on almost all scams it never did that

  15. I fell for this back in the myspace era. When I saw this on
    facebook I ignored it.

  16. has anyone else (besides me) noticed the "*" next to "See who viewed your profile!" on the image above, that has teh fine print "*works with feboz only"? another reason why you should always read EVERYTHING before you agree, whether it's a credit card application or a Facebook app... on a side note, i Googled feboz and found feboz.com - near as i can tell it's either another social networking site or it's a social networking toolbar, but so far i can't find anything on the site to tell me what it is, and heck if i'm gonna sign up just to find out...........

  17. becca · 1387 days ago

    so theres no way to see who is facebook creeping on you?

    • kia · 1384 days ago

      No, and there doesn't need to be. If there is someone out there you don't want checking your profile, then you should block them or just make sure your profile is only viewable by friends. Then make sure you're only friends with people who you don't mind looking at your profile. Simple.

      Like rbs who commented earlier, making it possible to see who looks at your profile would probably kill Facebook's popularity, which is no doubt why Facebook won't go down that route of allowing such functionality.

  18. Facebook make it ridiculously difficult to report this type of application however. A comment I have just posted to my own Wall in a discussion thread:

    ---- begin quoted Facebook comment ----

    In fact, it appears that the only way to report a rogue application (as opposed to reporting your friend as an abusive user, which you probably don't want to do) is to visit the application's Profile Page by clicking its link (really, really bad advice Facebook!) and, once there, being *very* careful not to grant the application permission to do anything (*do not* click "Allow"!), click "Report app" on the bottom left hand side. Once you have clicked "Report app" none of the options presented are really applicable to this particular situation though. Facebook FAIL.

    ---- end quoted Facebook comment ----

  19. Dean · 1305 days ago

    When i try to chat people that text comes up saying omg you tagged or whatever, how do you get rid of it thankyou...????????????

  20. CiaraOne · 1258 days ago

    facebook is too much if u ask me. just another illuminati thing that tries to control all of us once again. controlling our minds

  21. Belze · 1167 days ago

    I'm tempted to set up one of my old PCs and give this app permission to a test FB account and see what the results are to the account and any viral/malware crap floating around on my soon to be formatted HD.

  22. coulibaly lanzeni · 835 days ago

    facebook est très bon,le réseau nous permet de se retrouver et échanger entre amis,c'est vraiment extraordinaire,mais moi particulièrement j'aimerais savoir qui regarde mon profil.
    Cordialement.

  23. prasad · 490 days ago

    goood

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.