Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!


Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider
Bookmark and Share









Issue 99 - January 2010 - Page 1

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Facebook Unnamed App Internal Spybot Warning
  2. What Is A Golf Ball Worth? - Alligator Takes Golfer's Arm Photographs (Warning: Graphic Images)
  3. Australian Tax Refund Scam Email
  4. Facebook Friend Reported You Virus Warning
  5. Baby Manuela Email Forwarding Charity Hoax
  6. See Through Tyres - Radical New Tyre Design Photographs
  7. UK National Welfare Christmas Lottery Scam
  8. Black in the White House Virus Hoax
  9. Facebook Charging 14.99 Per Month Warning Message
  10. Baby Girl Heart Transplant Message Forwarding Hoax
  11. False Rumours Claim That Facebook is About to Start Charging User
  12. Missing Child Alerts - Ashley Lewis Missing From Kannapolis North Carolina

Issue 99 Start Menu

Next Article

Facebook Unnamed App Internal Spybot Warning

Outline
Message circulating on Facebook warns that users should delete a Facebook application labelled "Unnamed app" because it is an "internal spybot" that can make Facebook runs more slowly than usual.



Brief Analysis
Warning is invalid and should be ignored. Although an application titled "Unnamed app" has indeed appeared in the application settings of many Facebook users, it is NOT a spybot. The app is intended to control the use of Facebook boxes and is in no way malicious. There is no need to delete it. In fact, deleting it may cause unintended problems. The app is only visible and deletable due to a bug in the Facebook system.

Bookmark and Share
Detailed analysis and references below example.
Examples:
Has your facebook been slow recently? Some one else found this and I have found it on mine, not sure where it's from . To check your application settings, go to Settings, select "application settings", there you will find the ' show' box (at the top right), select "added to profile", if you see one in there called... ............"unnamed app" ...............DELETE IT ! Its an internal spybot.



Detailed Analysis
In late January 2010, this warning began moving rapidly around social networking website, Facebook. The message warns users to find and delete a Facebook application simply titled "Unnamed app" because it is an internal spybot that can cause Facebook to run more slowly than usual. The message includes instructions for finding and deleting the app.

An application very unhelpfully labelled "Unnamed app" has indeed appeared in the application settings dialogue of many Facebook users. However, the app is not a spybot or in any other way malicious and deleting it is unnecessary. Apparently, the app is not normally visible to users but has been displayed in many Facebook profiles due to an unfortunate bug in the Facebook system itself. The app is part of an internal system used to control the content of Facebook Boxes that users may wish to display on their profiles. A posting about the app on the Facebook Help Center page notes:
It can hold Boxes from any app that supports it (such as Photos, various games, books, etc.) that you don't want on your main profile page. It's a system tab and isn't supposed to be deletable. They must have made it visible accidentally (Facebook bug), and then someone started a rumor to make people delete it, partially breaking their profile.
Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley concurs, noting in a recent blog posting:
Sure enough, when I went to look on a Facebook account I found an "Unnamed app":

However, I'm not seeing any evidence that the application is malicious. Indeed, it seems to me that the only sin it may have committed might be to have been given a daft unhelpful name. According to Facebook itself, it appears to be a buggy presentation of the boxes tab that appears on users' Facebook profiles.
Thus, the information in the warning message is invalid and should not be acted upon. The app is not malicious and there is no credible evidence to suggest that deleting it will make Facebook run faster. In fact, deleting "Unnamed app" may cause unintended problems for users. Many Facebook users have reported that all of their Boxes have disappeared after deleting the app and they have been unable to recover them.

Moreover, online criminals have used this redundant "Unnamed app" warning to further their own nefarious ends. Hackers and scammers have exploited the situation by stuffing malicious websites with keywords related to the supposed "Unnamed app" security warning. Concerned users who search on the Internet for more information about the supposed threat may inadvertently arrive at bogus websites that contain trojans or other malware.

Although Facebook is an outstanding communication tool it has also become a very powerful vector for the rapid spread of misinformation, half truths and outright nonsense. If you receive a warning about a possible computer security threat via Facebook or email, it is important that you take a few minutes to verify its claims before taking action, especially if it involves deleting an application or file. Such hoaxes have caused problems for computer users in the past. Several years ago the infamous Teddy Bear virus hoax tricked many users into deleting a perfectly legitimate system file from their computers. And an even earlier virus hoax fooled users into removing a completely harmless Windows system file named Sulfnbk.exe.

Bookmark and Share



References:
Facebook Help Center
Facebook unnamed app: Hackers poison search results
Teddy Bear Virus Hoax - jdbgmgr.exe
Sulfnbk.exe Virus Hoax

Next Article

Issue 99 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Facebook Unnamed App Internal Spybot Warning
  2. What Is A Golf Ball Worth? - Alligator Takes Golfer's Arm Photographs (Warning: Graphic Images)
  3. Australian Tax Refund Scam Email
  4. Facebook Friend Reported You Virus Warning
  5. Baby Manuela Email Forwarding Charity Hoax
  6. See Through Tyres - Radical New Tyre Design Photographs
  7. UK National Welfare Christmas Lottery Scam
  8. Black in the White House Virus Hoax
  9. Facebook Charging 14.99 Per Month Warning Message
  10. Baby Girl Heart Transplant Message Forwarding Hoax
  11. False Rumours Claim That Facebook is About to Start Charging User
  12. Missing Child Alerts - Ashley Lewis Missing From Kannapolis North Carolina