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Issue 121 - December 2011 - Page 17

Facebook 'Virus' Warning - 'Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds' Video

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Message circulating on Facebook warns users that, if they receive a video titled "Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds", they should delete it because the video is a virus that will allow their Facebook accounts to be hacked.

Brief Analysis
The advice to delete the posts that link to this video is worth heeding. The threat described is real. However, it is a clickjack survey scam, NOT a virus and falling for the scam will NOT allow your Facebook account to be "hacked". In its current form, this warning is potentially misleading and may cause further confusion and misunderstanding among Facebook users.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 15th November 2011
First published: 15th November 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

If you get a video sent to you titled "Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds" delete it. Its a virus which will allow your FB to be hacked. It will look like someone on your FB has sent it to you. Please copy & paste

Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds Virus Warning

Detailed Analysis
According to this warning message, which is currently circulating rapidly around Facebook, users should watch out for a video titled "Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds". The message claims the video is actually a virus that will allow your Facebook to be hacked and should therefore be deleted. The message explains that the video post will appear to come from one of your Facebook friends.

The core advice in the message to delete posts about such a video is valid and worth heeding. A recent clickjack survey scam targeting Facebook users tried to entice people into following links with titles such as "98% of People Cannot Watch this for More than 10 seconds". The messages contain an image of a person with a large boil on his neck.

Those who fall for the ruse and follow the link in the hope of seeing the video will be taken to a page that contains a seemingly normal video player. However, clicking the "Play" button actually opens a Facebook "Share" box that compels victims to send the same spam message to all of their Facebook friends. Supposedly, the video cannot be viewed until the link has been shared with other Facebook users. Next, victims will be told that they must "prove they are human" by participating in one or more "surveys" or "promotions". When they proceed by following one of the survey links, victims will be presented with a series of "surveys" that may ask them to provide contact details and other personal information. Often, these surveys attempt to trick participants into subscribing to extremely expensive SMS services. By participating, they may also inadvertently give permission for marketing companies to contact them via email, phone or surface mail. Moreover, the scammer responsible for the attack will earn a commission whenever a victim participates in one of the bogus surveys.

Thus, these supposed video links are a genuine threat and Facebook users should certainly avoid clicking on them.

Unfortunately, however, the way the would-be warning is worded is potentially misleading. The clickjack survey scam described is certainly not a virus. Nor will clicking the link allow "hackers" to takeover your Facebook account. As described above, the scam attempts to trick people into spamming their friends with the same clickjack material as well as fooling them into participating in bogus surveys. Clicking on the link will not infect your computer with a virus. Clicking the link will not allow "hackers" to take over your Facebook account. Thus, in its current form, this warning contains significant inaccuracies and may well confuse more than it helps.

Another problem with such poorly worded warnings is that they tend to circulate long after the threat they describe has vanished. Clickjack scams come and go quite rapidly on Facebook, but dubious warnings about them sometimes continue to circulate for months after the scams have ceased to be a threat, often mutating as they travel.

To maintain their usefulness, it is important that security warnings contain accurate and up-to-date information, clearly describe the perceived threat and tell users how it can impact on them.

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98% of People Cannot Watch this for More than 10 seconds
98 Percent Of People Cant Watch This Video For More Than 15 Seconds - Facebook Scam

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Issue 121 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Bogus Warning - Scammers Asking for Baby Details to Claim Benefits in Your Children's Names
  2. False Claim - Cardiff City Football Club Refused to Donate Club Shirt for Fallen Soldier's Coffin
  3. Summer Chain Email - Blond Hair And Blood Shot Eyes
  4. Facebook Account Reported Phishing Scam
  5. Christmas Tree App Virus Hoax
  6. Sears Supports Reservist Employees Email Forward
  7. False Claim - Colour Photographs of Hitler Taken by American Life Photographer
  8. Budweiser Frogs Virus Hoax
  9. Phone Text Message Lottery Scams
  10. Skype TopUp Payment PayPal Phishing Scam
  11. Hoax - Mark Zuckerberg Blames Facebook Porn Attack on the Philippines
  12. 'DGTFX Virus' Email Account Phishing Scam
  13. Recent Facebook Porn Attack Highlights Dangers of Misleading 'Security' Warnings
  14. False - Send Christmas Cards for Recovering Soldiers to Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  15. Christmas Cards for Recovering American Soldiers
  16. Starbucks Coffee Free Gift Card Survey Scam
  17. Facebook 'Virus' Warning - 'Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds' Video
  18. Advance Fee Scam - British National Lottery Promo Programme
  19. Live Ants In The Brain Hoax
  20. Hoax - Albany Bread Poisoned by Staff
  21. PayPal 'Verify to Resolve Account Limitations' Phishing Scam
  22. Red Bull Car Adverts Money Laundering Scam
  23. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on March 15
  24. False Warning - Red Dot Inside a Red Square On Chocolate Bars Indicates That Product Contains A Pork Derivative
  25. IT Service Desk 'Scheduled Maintenance & Upgrade' Phishing Scam
  26. Abandoned Two Week Old Sydney Baby Prayer Request
  27. Protest Message - Prison Sentence for Spray Painting Poppy on Mosque
  28. Protest Message - Dog Named 'Parrot' Shot by Police
  29. Inaccurate Protest Message - Poundland and Bodyshop Banning Staff From Wearing Poppies
  30. Apple Store Account Phishing Scam