Dodgy Facebook pages used to power 'spam a friend' joke scam

No laughing matter


Dubious Facebook pages host rogue Javascript code that creates a means for miscreants to spam people on a user’s friends list, security researchers warn.

Chris Boyd (aka Paperghost), a security researcher at Sunbelt software, explains that the ruse relies on duping prospective marks into completing surveys. Users who complete these studies would inadvertently grant access to their friends list by following instructions on misleading dialogue boxes.

Baits being used in the ruse offer supposed access to the "world's funniest joke", among other ruses. Users are taken through a series of steps that results in them copying and then pasting JavaScript code into their address bar.

Once this happens a “suggest this to your friends” dialogue box will automatically appear briefly on userss' screens before it is replaced by a captcha prompt. Users who follow through will post a spamlink on the news feed of anybody who happens to be their friend.

This spamvertised link, in turn, promotes a fake internet survey aimed at flogging "expensive ringtones, and fake iPod offers, as explained in a blog post (containing screenshots illustrating the scam by Boyd here.

A depressing total of over 600,000 links to four pages containing the malicious JavaScript reveals that numerous users have been exposed, if not already taken in, by the scam.

Sunbelt has reported the dodgy pages to Facebook.

The latest Facebook-related security flap is unrelated to last week's outcry after it was discovered the social network the social networking permitted apps to get silently added to profiles whenever a user is logged in and surfs onto particular sites. The behaviour was used to distribute adware, prompting promises of a clean-up by the social networking site. ®

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