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Issue 166 - November, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 44

Hoax - Hacking Group Anonymous Targeting Facebook Users With Giraffe Profile Pics

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Outline
Facebook warning message claims that the hacking group Anonymous is wiping out the bank accounts and hard drives of people who have played the popular giraffe challenge riddle game and are therefore using giraffe profile images.


Giraffe Game Hoax

© Depositphotos.com/ julos



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are utter nonsense. Even Anonymous cannot access your computer and bank account just because you have a giraffe image as your profile. That claim is simply ridiculous. This silly hoax is circulating at the same time as another - equally false - hoax that claims that the giraffe profile pictures harbour malware. The "giraffe challenge" is a harmless game in which users who cannot correctly answer a riddle are instructed to change their Facebook profile picture to that of a giraffe for three days. The game was certainly not set up by Anonymous.

Bookmark and Share
Example

Whoah! Just found out that the Giraffe challenge was set up by the hacking group Anonymous. Apparently they're going to embark on a random "cleansing" program which will wipe out the bank accounts and hard drives of those people who have giraffe profile pics ... A few of my mates already had it happen, so glad I cheated now!


Detailed Analysis


According to a message that is going viral on Facebook, the popular "Giraffe Challenge" riddle game is actually a sinister plot by hacking group Anonymous to empty people's bank accounts and wipe out their hard drives. The message claims that Anonymous is set to embark on a random "cleansing" program and will be targeting users who have changed their profile picture to that of a giraffe as part of the riddle game.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Even the most skilled hackers could not access people's bank accounts or tamper with their hard drives just because they happened to use an image of a giraffe as their profile picture. The claim is simply ridiculous.

In fact, this message is just an alternative version of another giraffe game hoax warning that falsely claims that giraffe images found online harbour malicious code that can steal your Facebook account login details and give hackers access to your computer.

Both hoaxes are in response to the popular Facebook status game in which users who cannot answer a riddle are instructed to use a picture of a giraffe as their profile picture for three days if they fail to correctly answer a riddle. An example of the message is included below:
Try the great giraffe challenge! The deal is I give you a riddle. You get it right you get to keep your profile pic. You get it wrong and you change your profile pic to a Giraffe for the next 3 days. MESSAGE ME ONLY SO YOU DONT GIVE OUT THE ANSWER. Here is the riddle: 3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, It's your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?Remember... message me only. If you get it right I'll post your name here. If you get it wrong change your profile picture....

The giraffe game is completely harmless. Playing certainly will not allow Anonymous or anybody else to hijack your bank account or computer.

Of course, it is important that people use caution and common sense when downloading material from unknown websites. People could inadvertently download and install malware in the mistaken belief that they were downloading an innocent image file. However, sharing this bogus hacker warning will only spread misinformation and cause alarm. Reposting this silly message will help nobody.

Last updated: October 29, 2013
First published: October 28, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Giraffe Profile Picture Virus Hoax



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Issue 166 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Philippines Typhoon Disaster Scams
  2. Wedding Invitation Malware Emails
  3. 'Suspicious Guy Claiming He is You' Spam Emails
  4. Hunting Family Posing With Dead Elephant Picture
  5. 'Missing Persons in Australia' Facebook Like-Farming Scam
  6. Baby Iko Facebook Sick Child Hoax
  7. 'Young Romanian Woman' Car Crash Scam Warning
  8. No, Scientists in Texas are NOT Going to Use Sex Offenders for Medical Research
  9. Facebook Hate Campaign Against Keely Currie
  10. Chinese Teleportation Road Rescue Video
  11. PlayStation 4 Like and Share Giveaway Facebook Scam
  12. Circulating Video of Girl Throwing Puppies Causing Outrage
  13. 'Bizarre Unknown' Fish Caught in Malaysia Not So Mysterious
  14. No, The Bitstrips App is NOT an NSA Trojan
  15. 'Removing An Old Setting' Facebook Notification Message
  16. Did a Man in China Sue His Wife For Being Ugly?
  17. '200 Pieces of iPhone' Facebook Giveaway Scam
  18. Gmail '4 Missed Emails' Pharmacy Spam
  19. 'Freedom Award Lottery Promotion Agency' Facebook Page Scam
  20. Spider in Oreo Cookie Photograph
  21. 'Giant Fukushima Mutant Dog' Picture
  22. Oprah Winfrey is NOT Dead - Links in Message Lead to Rogue App
  23. ANZ Phishing Scam - 'We Detected a Login Attempt With a Valid Password'
  24. 'Microsoft Facebook Yahoo Windows Live Award' Advance Fee Scam
  25. Chemical Burns From Gel In Diaper Warning Message
  26. Charles F. Feeney 'Grant Donation' Advance Fee Scam
  27. False and Damaging Rumour - 'RSPCA Paid to Keep Quiet About Halal Slaughtering'
  28. 'Apple ID Information Updated' Phishing Scam
  29. ASDA Attempted Kidnapping Hoax
  30. Bogus Message Proclaims ' Christmas is banned: IT Offends Muslims'
  31. False Rumour - Patron at Cosmo Romford Finds Dog Microchip Wedged in Tooth
  32. Hoax - Picture of 'World's Largest Tortoise'
  33. Fogg Hill Wolf Kill Warning Poster
  34. NO, Obama is NOT Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods
  35. Marks & Spencer Poppy Sales Three Percent False Rumour
  36. Westpac 'Login Attempt From Unrecognized Device' Phishing Scam
  37. 'Really Bad Virus' Warning
  38. Facebook Surcharge Hoax - £1 Per Month From January 2015
  39. BMW M5 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  40. 'Baby Andrei Needs Help' Facebook Page Donations Scam
  41. Beware of Fake Obamacare Websites
  42. 'Temporarily Blocked From Liking Pages' Facebook Message
  43. 'Pieces of iPad' Giveaway Facebook Scam
  44. Hoax - Hacking Group Anonymous Targeting Facebook Users With Giraffe Profile Pics
  45. Bogus Warning - Canned Fruit From Thailand Contaminated With HIV
  46. Giraffe Profile Picture Virus Hoax