Increasing Number of Survey Scams Continuing to Spread on Facebook, Sophos Warns

Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users hit by resurgence of “Girl killed herself” scam this weekend

MUMBAI / BANGALORE, India – December 23, 2010 — IT security and control firm, Sophos, is warning Facebook users about the reappearance of survey scams that are quickly spreading across the social network.  Many Facebook users are struggling to clean up their accounts once they’ve been tricked into allowing a third party application to post messages from their profile.

These scams are able to spread across the network as users think that online friends have posted the message, seemingly linking it to the enticing material.

However, by clicking on the link and giving a third-party Facebook application access to their profile, users are helping the scammers to spread the application across their network of friends.

Typical scams include messages that read-

“OMG this girl KILLED herself after her dad posted on her wall: LINK”

“Amazing how such a harmless prank could cause something so bad!: LINK”

“OMG OMG OMG…I cant believe this actually works!  Now you really can see who viewed your profile! LINK”

Sophos has created a YouTube video, which sites are free to embed, to help Facebook users clear up their profiles if they’ve been affected by any of these scams:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or-qR0Y300w

We’ve received an extremely large number of messages this weekend from worried Facebook users who are trying to remove these applications from their profiles once they’ve been affected by the scams,” said Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos.  “The safest way to protect yourself from such scams, is to not click on unknown links in the first place, even if you think they’ve been posted by a friend.  If you have fallen for these tricks though, it’s important to remove the applications completely, not just the wall posts, to ensure that you’re not helping the bad guys to spread the scam further.”

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About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing security and data protection solutions that are simple to manage, deploy and use, and that deliver the industry’s lowest TCO. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, and network access control solutions backed by SophosLabs-a global network of threat intelligence centers. With more than two decades of experience, Sophos is regarded as a leader in security and data protection by top analyst firms and has received many industry awards. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, UK and Boston, US. More information is available at www.sophos.com

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