Facebook users are being tricked into clicking on links which claim to be raw CNN footage of the Japanese tsunami by cold-hearted scammers – as part of a plot to earn money by driving web traffic to take online surveys.
The videos, which in the examples seen by Sophos exist on a website called spinavideo, purport to be footage of the horrifying tsunami which hit parts of Japan on Friday.
Japanese Tsunami RAW Tidal Wave Footage
Clicking on the link takes unsuspecting users to a website which pretends to be YouTube, but is in fact designed to clickjack users into unwittingly agreeing to Facebook “Like” the page (which spreads the scam virally across the social network).
Users are then tricked into taking an online survey which earns commission for the scammers. No doubt the scammers are hoping that by pretending the video footage comes from CNN, more people might be tempted to click on it.
Remember to always get your news from legitimate news websites, and if you’re hunting for a video make sure that you go to the real YouTube website rather than a replica set up by scammers.
How to clean-up after a likejacking attack
If you made the mistake of clicking on a link spread via a scam message like the one listed above, you should check your Facebook news feed and remove any offending links that you might have spammed out to your friends. Hover your mouse over the top right hand corner of the post and you should see a small “x” which will allow you to remove it.
And if you entered your mobile phone number, you should keep a close eye on your cellphone bill and notify your carrier to prevent bogus charges from stinging you in the wallet.
Remember to be wary of any links that look like this. If you really want to watch a video chances are that it’s available for free – without you having to complete any surveys – on legitimate video sites like YouTube.
Going forward, it’s essential that you stay informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos Facebook page, where more than 60,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.
We’ve also published some good best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook.
Hat-tip: Thanks to Naked Security reader Kara who contacted us about this scam.