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Issue 113 - April 2011 - Page 1

"Photo U Got Tagged In" Rogue App

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Outline
Message posted via Facebook asks recipients if they have seen a photo they were tagged in and includes a link that supposedly allows them to view the photograph.



Brief Analysis
The link in the post leads to a rogue Facebook application that will spam out more messages promoting the rogue app. It also tries to trick the user into visiting third party website and filling in bogus surveys. The surveys attempt to trick users into divulging personal information or signing up for expensive online and SMS services. Note that this survey scam is not related to a months old hoax message that falsely claims that there is a destructive virus on Facebook that users your pictures. (Please see detailed analysis below for more information).

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 27th March 2011
First published: 27th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
omg hahah have u seen this photo u got tagged in LOL -----> stum************** !

http://stum*****************




Detailed Analysis
Messages currently being posted via Facebook ask "have u seen this photo u got tagged in" and suggest that you follow a link to view the photograph.

However, clicking the link will not open a photograph that you were supposedly tagged in. Instead, you will be taken to a Facebook application that asks for permission to access your Facebook settings and Facebook chat. If you allow permission, the application will post messages in your name via chat and, possibly, other areas of Facebook.

The application will then display a pop-up window that claims that before you view the photograph, you must first complete one of several available surveys as a means of verifying your identity. If you click one of the links, you will be taken to a third-party website where you may be presented with a series of "offers", "surveys" and "competition entries" that request more information such as mobile phone numbers, occupation and income details. Some note in the "fine print" at the bottom of the webpage that by entering the competition or participating in the "offer", the user is giving permission for his or her email address and phone numbers to be shared with marketing companies or "site partners". Others try to trick users into signing up for absurdly expensive SMS "services" that are billed at several dollars per text. And, each time that you complete one of these surveys or offers the scammer who created the app will earn a commission for his trouble.

There have been an increasing number of the survey and clickjacking scams targeting Facebook. Recent scams have used the Japanese Tsunami, the supposed death of actor Charlie Sheen, and the bogus claim that Facebook will close down if users do not verify their accounts.

This "tagged in a photo" version of the scam has caused a lot of confusion on Facebook because the spam messages it uses seem to give validity to a much earlier warning that began circulating back in 2010. A copy of this "warning" is included below:
VIRUS on FB using your pictures. It says you have been tagged in a picture, wants you to click on a link to see it, then hacks into your computer & all your accounts, including banking & other secure accounts. It destroys your computer. Once hacked into your computer, it sends ...e-mails to your friends telling them they have been tagged in pictures & starts the process again PLEASE RE-POST
However, this warning is a hoax and does NOT describe a real threat. The "photo u got tagged in" rogue app is NOT a virus, nor will it hack your computer and steal information. And it certainly does not destroy your computer. Although the hoax virus warning may, at first glance, appear to have relevance to the rogue app, it in fact has no relation whatsoever. The rogue app does not behave in any way like the fictional virus described in the hoax message. And the hoax was circulated long before the rogue application was created. Therefore the hoax message is NOT a valid warning about the rogue app and should not be passed on as such. Passing on the hoax message has only caused confusion and misunderstanding among Facebook users.

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References
Japanese Tsunami 'Whale into Building' Clickjacking Scam
Facebook 'Virus Alert' - Charlie Sheen Found Dead
Facebook Virus Using Your Pictures Warning
Scammers Exploit 'Facebook Closing Down' Hoaxes via Rogue Apps



Next Article

Issue 113 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. "Photo U Got Tagged In" Rogue App
  2. Internet Rumour: Ramsgate Abduction Attempts - Man With Grey Hair & Glasses Driving a Red Car
  3. Little Rupert The One Pound Deer
  4. Is Lemon A Cancer Killer That is 10,000 Times Stronger Than Chemotherapy?
  5. Modelling Agency Overpayment Scam
  6. Japanese Tsunami 'Whale into Building' Clickjacking Scam
  7. Hacker Warning Hoax - Do Not Accept Friend Requests From Bobby Roberts
  8. DHL Notification Malware Email
  9. Crosses on the Beach at Santa Barbara - ACLU Suit Against Military Crosses And Prayer in the Military?
  10. Scammers Exploit 'Facebook Closing Down' Hoaxes via Rogue Apps
  11. July 2011 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  12. Craigslist iPad Giveaway Survey Scam
  13. Buscopan Syrup Recall Warning
  14. Facebook 'Virus Alert' - Charlie Sheen Found Dead
  15. White Van with Red Dragon Abduction Alert Messages
  16. Crocodile In Sugar Mill Sump
  17. Australian Tax Refund Scam Email
  18. Dog Comes Home With Deadly Snake Around His Snout
  19. Bogus Hacker Warning - &#039 Between First and Second Names in Facebook Chat
  20. False Virus Warning - Do Not Add "Smartgrrl15" Because Its a Virus
  21. New Prison Photographs - Prison vs Work
  22. Pepsi Can Email Hoax
  23. False Story Claims 450 Gaza Grooms Wed Girls Under Ten in Mass Muslim Marriage
  24. Baby Pacey Moore Prayer Request
  25. Slow Dance Charity Hoax
  26. Fake BBC News Alert Warns of Radiation Rain in Asian Countries
  27. Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email