Facebook is closing all accounts today? Nope, it's a viral rogue application

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

A new viral scam is being spread across Facebook by a rogue application, tricking users into believing that Facebook is closing all accounts today.

Many Facebook users have found that their profiles have been updated with a message which reads:

Facebook closing all accounts today

Facebook is closing all accounts today. They can't handle so many accounts. Most of the old accounts are not active, so they are deleting everything. If you want your account alive please confirm your activity. This is the final notice! [LINK]

They may also see a message reading:

Final Notice - Confirm your activity today!
In order to keep your account alive you must verify your activity!
Your account will be permanently disabled if you don't take this step.

The sad thing is that there are many Facebook users who can be fooled by a cunning piece of social engineering like this, as their addiction to the world's most popular social network outweighs their skepticism about Facebook killing off accounts.

If you do make the mistake of clicking on the link you are taken to a rogue application, which attempts to present itself as an official application developed by Facebook itself, but is written by a third-party. Their intention is to gain access to your Facebook profile so they can post the same message from your Facebook page, spreading the message virally to all of your friends.

Facebook closing rogue application

So don't grant the application permission!

If the fear of losing your Facebook account drove you to make a bad decision and you did grant the application the right to post to your wall, it will take advantage immediately and take your browser to an online survey that earns the scammers commission.

Facebook closing message

If you've been affected by this scam, you should clean up your account before any further damage is done.

I've made a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account if you were hit by this, or similar scams on Facebook:

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

Make sure that you stay informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos Facebook page, where more than 90,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

You could also do a lot worse than check out our best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook guide.

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6 Responses to Facebook is closing all accounts today? Nope, it's a viral rogue application

  1. Raj Rijhwani · 1263 days ago

    Amusingly, Facebook have marked this article as "spammy" and will not allow it to be shared.

    • Sigh.. Let's hope Facebook security fixes it soon..

      • Pam · 1263 days ago

        I couldn't post it either. It said it had been reported as "abusive". Looks like the scammers are trying to stay one step ahead of Sophos!

  2. David Lee Whitehead · 1263 days ago

    I just posted it to my profile a minute ago with no problem. This one DOES sound like something a lot of the people I know would fall for though. I keep telling ALL of my friends that they NEED to FOLLOW Sophos on Twitter AND Face Book....

  3. Tyler · 1263 days ago

    CPALead at it like usual

  4. -kg- · 1263 days ago

    Didn't this same scam make the rounds a couple of months or so ago?

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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.