Visit the New Facebook? Hacker warning spreads like wildfire on social network

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks, Spam

Facebook users are posting warnings to one another about a hacker operating on the network, using the offer to "Visit the new Facebook" to break into pages and kick out the page's legitimate administrators.

Unfortunately the alerts do not include enough information to be useful, and members of the public may be unwittingly perpetuating a hoax in the belief that they are helping their friends, family and online chums avoid a nasty virus infection.

Visit the new Facebook warning

THIS NOTICE IS DIRECTED TO EVERYONE WHO HAS A PAGE ON FACEBOOK: IF SOME PEOPLE IN YOUR PROFILE OR YOUR FRIENDS SEND YOU A LINK WITH WORDS "VISIT THE NEW FACEBOOK '' AND THERE IS THE LINK BELOW, DO NOT OPEN! IF YOU OPEN IT YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR PAGE. IT'S A HACKER WHO STEALS YOUR DETAILS AND REMOVES YOU FROM YOUR OWN PAGE. COPY AND SPREAD THE WORD

Although there are many scams and attacks which spread on Facebook every day, no-one appears so far to actually have gathered any evidence that this one exists - and there is probably more nuisance being caused by users passing on the warning than by any attack which may or may not have happened.

Users believe they're doing the right thing when they share warnings like this - but unfortunately they haven't always checked their facts.

Please don't share security warnings with your online friends until you have checked them with a credible source (such as an established computer security company). Threats can be killed off fairly easily, but misinformation like this can live on for months, if not years, because people believe they are "doing the right thing" by sharing the warning with their friends.

If you're a regular user of Facebook, be sure to join the Sophos page on Facebook to be kept informed of the latest security threats.

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9 Responses to Visit the New Facebook? Hacker warning spreads like wildfire on social network

  1. Megan · 1233 days ago

    i always find it interesting how people are so quick to jump on the faux warnings but completely ignore the real ones, no matter how many times they've fallen for the scams in the past.

    • Diana · 1051 days ago

      You give them 6 sites saying it is a hoax and they still claim it is real. It happened to my friend etc. LOL I just tell them to be careful you can get a virus just as easy in your email.

  2. Mich · 1233 days ago

    I seen this warning and when i checked I found 2 pages using that name. One page looked very suspect with a suspect link in it. I reposted with the added comment that it COULD be a hoax though. I have also seen other warnings of this style but could never confirm them so I didn't repost. All in all I have only seen maybe a half dozen postings of this style compared to countless numbers of true scam postings.

  3. "YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR PAGE. IT'S A HACKER WHO STEALS YOUR DETAILS AND REMOVES YOU FROM YOUR OWN PAGE."

    I was about to write "This isnt even possible." but then I got thinking. Can a link, javascript or not actually change the administrator on a page?

    1. Dont you have to be friends with anyone you put as an admin.
    2. There are alot of steps in the middle that would probably stop this.

    Any thoughts?

    • Chris · 1058 days ago

      whereas to a small part you are correct but you are also incorrect in your thoughts not realizing that there are some programs out there that can open a hidden hack program allowing the hacker to aquire your id and password whereby allowing them access to your account and allowing them to either alter stuff or simply make themselves a friend and admin without your knowledge. Always best to be safe as well as investigate as been mentioned before to be sure if it is infact a hoax or true.

  4. GO2JD · 1233 days ago

    Having been a former trainer on Security and other things in the financial sector, I used to use the saying: "If in doubt, check it out." I live by that. By simply using tools, such as google to search the legitamacy of something, one can save themselves a lot of trouble...and time. Additionally, it can prevent the spread of unnecessary paranoia. There is enough of that already in the world. Utilizing resources, such as this page (which I found via google) can be an quick remedy to ignorance.Be safe, but BE SMART.

  5. Achy Mama · 1232 days ago

    Warnings such as this could be viewed as a 'virus' itself. It spreads fast and stays around for years. There really is no mechanism to stop its spread due to people's uncertainty over its validity and their desire to help friends avoid the pain of being hacked. We'll see this warning resurface once in a while and it will spread as effectively as a virus.

  6. Humans are born to spread unrelated unnecessary crap. They can't be bothered in the slightest to check whether it's true or not. It's easier for them to forward more unnecessary shite that actually to stop , pause, think and then to send it off.

    It may as well be the world 3 of ignorance...

  7. Becky Geary · 885 days ago

    I always check snopes when I read anything like this. Thank you guys for being here for us.

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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.