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Issue 170 - January, 2014 (2nd Edition) - Page 9

Bogus Advice - Block Hackers by Adding 'Security' to Facebook Blocking Function

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Outline
Circulating message advises Facebook users to type the word "security" into Facebook's "Block Users" function to reveal and block hackers.

False

© Depositphotos.com/ kikkerdirk



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are nonsense. Following the instructions will simply pull up a list of Facebook users that have the word "security" in their profiles. These people are not hackers. Any string of text entered into the block field will reveal a list of users. The advice in the message is spurious and sharing it with others will only cause confusion and undue concern. The message is similar to a much earlier hoax that claimed that entering the words "Automation Labs" will reveal a list of people who are able to access your Facebook account.

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Example

Hi if your computer is playing up you need to check your security settings, I have and I have blocked about 30 people who were trying to hack my computer.
go to you account settings, then it will bring you to another page click on blocking in the left hand column, it will bring a box up to type in. in that box type security then copy it so u don't have to keep typing it now click on block beside where u have typed security. U will b shocked at how many names appear u need to block all. Some say facebook security block them all they r hackers.


Detailed Analysis


According to a message currently circulating on Facebook, users can ensure that hackers cannot access their accounts by entering the word "security" into Facebook's "Block Users" search field and blocking the names that appear. The message includes instructions detailing how users can perform the search and notes that people will likely be shocked at how many "hackers" they discover.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Entering the word "security" into the Block Users search simply presents a list of Facebook users that may have "security" somewhere in their profile. These people are not criminals that are targeting your account. They are just random Facebook users.  Any word or phrase you enter in the search field is likely to give a list of people that have that word or phrase in their profiles.

The message is a revamped version of the old Automation Labs hoax that had many Facebook users in a state of panic back in 2010. The older hoax claimed that entering the words "Automation Labs" in the Block Users search would reveal a list of people who were able to access your Facebook account. As with the current version, the claims in the message were utter nonsense.

The current version may be making a nebulous and unhelpful reference to a series of Facebook phishing scams that appear to come from "Facebook Security".  The scams typically use strange or non-standard characters in their names.  Searching for the phrase "Facebook Security" may possibly reveal some compromised accounts but will also likely list perfectly legitimate users.

Thus, the tactic described is not an adequate or reliable method of finding such compromised accounts.  And the scam accounts cannot access or have any connection to your account whatsoever unless you fall for a "Facebook Security" phishing scam message and submit your Facebook login details to the criminals.

Thus, this spurious tip is only likely to cause confusion and unnecessary concern among Facebook users. Sharing this inaccurate and misleading information will help nobody.

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Last updated: January 10, 2014
First published: January 10, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Automation Labs Facebook Privacy Warning Hoax
Facebook Team Security 2013 Phishing Scam - 'Last Warning - Your Account Will Be Disabled'



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Issue 170 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. 'Paul Walker Still Alive After Accident' Phishing and Survey Scam
  2. 'Profile Visitors for Facebook' Rogue App and Survey Scam
  3. PG & E Energy Statement Malware Emails
  4. Fake Picture: 'Thailand Snake Girl' - Serpentosis Malianorcis
  5. Tom Crist Lottery Win Advance Fee Scam
  6. Legoland Child Abduction Attempt Hoax
  7. Fake Picasa 'New Photos' Emails Point to Dodgy Pharmacy Website
  8. 'Win a Disney Cruise' Survey Scam
  9. Bogus Advice - Block Hackers by Adding 'Security' to Facebook Blocking Function
  10. Fake - Giant Squid Image
  11. Commonwealth Bank 'eStatement Ready' Phishing Scam
  12. 'Singer Rihanna Found to be Dead' Facebook Survey Scam
  13. Satire - Pope Francis and the 'Third Vatican Council'
  14. Snow Canyon Roadway Image
  15. Albert (Tapper) Torney and the Can Car Sculptures That He Did NOT Make
  16. 'Your Atmos Energy Bill is Available' Malware Email
  17. 'Beware Hack Scam Rollercoaster Clip' Facebook Warning Message
  18. Sainsbury's 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' Phishing Scame
  19. Satire - '18 Million Birds Dead New Year's Eve'
  20. Hoax - 'Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado'
  21. Hoax Report Claims Paul Walker Faked His Own Death
  22. 'Shark Eats Swimming Man' Facebook Survey Scam
  23. 'Notice to Appear in Court' Malware Emails
  24. 'Most Fatal Car Accident' Survey Scam
  25. Hoax - Extraordinary Planetary Alignment To Decrease Gravity on January 4
  26. 'World's Largest Snake Video' Survey Scam
  27. Michael Jackson Died Years Ago Hoax
  28. 'My Home is Burning' Facebook Phishing and Malware Scam
  29. Facebook 'Closed for Maintenance' Prank