Hurricane Irene clickjacking scam on Facebook

Filed Under: Clickjacking, Facebook, Social networks, Spam, Vulnerability

Hurricane IreneStates in the USA, such as Vermont and New Jersey, are continuing to deal with heavy flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

And we weren't surprised to find internet scammers attempting to profit from other people's misery.

For instance, here is a clickjacking scam which at the time of writing is still active on Facebook.

Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam

This Facebook page reads:

VIDEO SHOCK - Hurricane Irene New York kills All

All? Hmm.. that would be a rather fanciful claim even for the most sensationalist tabloid report. But maybe it will be enough to make you click further.

Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam

BAM! Too late. You've been clickjacked. Even before you've had a chance to notice that the page is suddenly talking to you in Italian, the webpage has taken your click onto what you thought was the video's play button and secretly behind-the-scenes tricked you into saying you "Like" the page - thus promoting it to your online Facebook friends.

If you were running an add-on like NoScript for Firefox you would have been protected by a warning message:

Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam intercepted by NoScript

But let's imagine that you weren't protected. What happens next?

Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam

The page insists that you share the link to the Facebook page, presumably in an attempt to increase its viral spread. So far things don't seem to be working well for the scammers - as only 12 people have said they "Like" the page (and one of those is my test account). Maybe folks are suspicious about a claim that Hurricane Irene has killed *everyone* in New York.

Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam

You're still keen to watch the video, of course, but first the scammers want you to take an online survey - which not only asks you for personal information but also can earn them commission.

If you are hit by a scam like this you should remove the page from the list of pages that your Facebook profile likes..

Unlike Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam

..and remove it from your newsfeed, reporting it as spam to Facebook.

Remove Hurricane Irene Facebook clickjacking scam

The good news is that this particular scam hasn't become widespread, but many others do.

If you're a Facebook user and want to keep up on the latest threats and security news I would recommend you join the Sophos Facebook page - where more than 100,000 people regularly discuss the latest attacks.

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7 Responses to Hurricane Irene clickjacking scam on Facebook

  1. Kate · 1148 days ago

    I use Firefox. Do I have NoScript or is there something I have to download?

  2. Data John · 1148 days ago

    With scam survey becoming so big, why does anyone pay for survey taking anymore? Are they getting good data from these surveys?

  3. Machin Shin · 1148 days ago

    I assume "talking you into Italian" was supposed to be "talking to you in Italian"? Unless they really are trying to talk you into speaking Italian.

  4. Dayo George · 1148 days ago

    Interesting scam. However, it is no surprise or nothing new to see that people will take advantage of others in a disaster. I recently blogged on a comprehensive approach to Cybersecurity and avoiding data disaster - especially timely in the wake of Irene and the Virginia earthquake. http://ogalaws.wordpress.com

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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.