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'Very Important Message' Facebook Spam

Outline
Post circulating via Facebook walls urges users to follow a link to another page and click the publish button in order to read a "very important message".



Brief Analysis
The messages are spam. Following the link and clicking the publish button posts the message to the user's own wall. Other links in the posted message lead to dubious Facebook apps or spammy third-party websites.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 3rd November 2010
First published: 3rd November 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
*** VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE ***

Please Quickly Click The Blue Publish Button On The Right-Underneath To Read!

[LINK REMOVED]

...MAKE A BACKUP!!!!!!!
[LINK REMOVED] VISIT FACEBOOK STORE!!!!!
[LINK REMOVED]

Very important Message Facebook Spam




Detailed Analysis
Yet another spam/scam message is currently moving its way around social networking website, Facebook. This one consists of Facebook wall posts that advice readers that they have a "very important message". In order to read this important message, the user is instructed to follow a link in the post and click the "publish" button on the page that subsequently appears. One such page is shown in the screenshot below:

Facbook Spam Page 2

Clicking the "Envelope" graphic opens the Facebook "Publish" window:

Facebook Publish Window

Clicking the "Publish" button will repeat the cycle by posting a new version for the message to your wall. The "payload" of the spam message consists of further links to other suspect web pages. One links opens a dubious Facebook "event" page that advises users to make a backup of all their friends by coping and pasting javascript into the browser address bar. Another link points to a spammy "Facebook store" that supposedly offers heavily discounted mobile phones.

As well as the "Very Important Message" version shown above, another version offers the following:
New message from Facebook. As an experienced facebook user you have been awarded a 25%+ facebook discount Please read the following message: [LINK REMOVED]
The link in the"experienced facebook user" version leads to the same site as that shown in the "Very Important Message" version and performs the same actions.

Facebook spam campaigns similar to the one described here are ongoing. Details of the messages may differ as new spam attacks are implemented. The tactics used by these spammers are many and varied. More and more, Facebook is becoming a favoured vector for all kinds of spam, scams, rumours, innuendo and downright nonsense. Facebook users need to remain vigilant, not only about what links they follow but about what they repost.

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Last updated: 3rd November 2010
First published: 3rd November 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer