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Photobucket MySpace Comment Virus Warning

Summary:
Message claims that a virus that circulates via MySpace comments can delete content in the user's PhotoBucket account and post nude images to his or her friends list (Full commentary below).



Status:
Inaccurate and misleading

Example:(Submitted, January 2008)
Subject: Photobucket Virus

PHOTOBUCKET WARNING
THERE IS A VIRUS ON THE INTERNET THAT IS NOW AFFECTING YOUR PHOTOBUCKET ACCOUNT. IT STARTS OFF AS A MYSPACE COMMENT ON YOUR PAGE. THE COMMENT SAYS EXACTLY THIS :

lol have you seen these pics yet? im suprised her myspace didnt get deleted yet for posting pictures like that.

DO NOT CLICK THE LINK THAT FOLLOWS. WHAT HAPPENS IS ONCE YOU CLICK THE LINK IT CAPTURES YOUR COOKIES ON YOUR MACHINE. ONCE IT DOES THAT THE VIRUS WAITS FOR YOU TO LOG INTO YOUR PHOTOBUCKET ACCOUNT AND WILL DELETE ALL OF YOUR IMAGES AND VIDEOS IN YOUR ACCOUNT OR IT WILL POST NUDE PHOTOS ON YOUR ENTIRE FRIENDS LIST.

IF YOU SEE THIS, DO NOT OPEN THE LINK, SIMPLY DELETE THE COMMENT AND TELL YOUR FRIEND THAT THEIR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN PHISHED. LET ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS KNOW. A FEW OF MY FRIENDS HAVE HAD THIS HAPPEN ALREADY. REPOST AS: PHOTOBUCKET WARNING




Commentary:
According to this warning message, a "virus" circulating via MySpace can in turn compromise the user's Photobucket account. The message claims that clicking a link in a bogus MySpace comment allows the virus to take control of the user's Photobucket account and delete all images and videos or post nude photos to everyone on his or her friends list.

Unfortunately, the perpetrator of this garbled message has managed, through ignorance or design, to combine fact with fiction, thereby making the warning virtually useless. As discussed below, scammers have indeed used the fake comment quoted in the warning message to steal information from unwary MySpace users. However, the attack described does not target Photobucket account holders. Even if a MySpace user does fall victim to this phishing scam, there are no credible reports that indicate his or her Photobucket account will also be affected.

Rather than attempting to compromise Photobucket accounts, this attack uses the quoted comment and a number of similar variants to trick MySpace members into relinquishing their MySpace login details. Clicking links in the bogus comments opens a fake webpage designed to mirror the genuine MySpace home page, complete with login form. The scammers can collect the account details of those who login on the fake page. They then have full access to the compromised MySpace accounts and can post more bogus comments in the names of their victims.

MySpace users should be cautious of clicking on links in comments or messages, even if they appear to originate from friends. The fake MySpace webpages have .cn (Chinese) domains and the URL's do not look like normal MySpace addresses. However, while the comment phishing attack described is certainly real, claims in the message that the attack also affects Photobucket users are unfounded.

References:
MySpace Identity Theft Scams On the Rise?
Large Scale MySpace Phishing Attack
Photobucket Forums: Spoof Emails

Last updated: 3rd January 2007
First published: 3rd January 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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