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'See Everyone Who Views Your [email protected]' Rogue Facebook Application

Message circulating on Facebook claims that the user can follow a link to see everyone who views his or her profile.

Brief Analysis
The message is a scam. The link in the message goes to a rogue Facebook application that, once installed, can automatically repost the "see who views your [email protected]" message to your wall. It will also try to entice users into visiting websites where they may be tricked into providing personal information, downloading spyware or signing up for expensive SMS phone services. If you receive this message, do not follow the link or install the application.

Bookmark and Share Update 25th January 2011
An exaggerated and inaccurate "virus warning" about this rogue application is now also circulating. See Detailed Analysis below for more information.

Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: 25 January 2011
First published: 7th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

I had n0 idea u could see everyone who views your [email protected] You guys are [email protected]! [Link removed]
20 seconds ago via check who view u

Who views your profile spam post

Detailed Analysis
This message is currently moving very rapidly around social network Facebook. The message claims that you can see who has been viewing your profile by following the link included in the message.

However, the message certainly does not allow users to see who has been viewing their profile. That claim is simply the bait used to trick people into clicking the link. Following the link opens a Facebook page that requests permission for the "who spy u" or the "check who view u" application to access your Facebook account information and post to your wall. When this permission is granted the "see who views your [email protected]" message will be automatically posted to your wall along with a link to the application.

After you install this rogue app, you will be taken to another webpage where you are informed that you must finalize your request by clicking one of several available links to complete a "verification test". You are warned that you will not be able to "view your creepers" until you complete at least one of these so called "verification tests". In fact, each of the "test" links lead to one of several suspect third party websites that use very deceptive marketing tactics.

Some of these third party sites ask you to provide contact and other personal information, ostensibly in order to enter a competition or be eligible for an "offer" of some description. However, the "fine print" on the pages suggests that the details you provide will actually be shared with other marketers and used to send you advertising material. Other sites in the "list" will suggest that you download "helpful" free applications or browser add-ons. However, far from being helpful, these applications and add-ons are in fact likely to collect data from your computer or display unwanted adverts. And some of the links also lead to suspect "survey" websites where you may be tricked into signing up for extremely expensive SMS phone services. These sites claim that you must sign up for such SMS services in order to receive the results of the "survey" in which you participated.

Facebook spammers are increasingly using such underhand tactics. Facebook users need to be cautious when allowing unknown applications to access their accounts, especially when the applications are promoted via viral Facebook messages like the one described here. Another - very similar - spam campaign that has recently caught out many Facebook users claimed to show the poster's "1st [email protected]" message. This version also pointed to a rogue app and directed users to spam websites.

Facebook users should note that similar spam campaigns are likely to be continually launched by spammers as time goes by.

Soon after the spam attack discussed above was launched, the following warning also began circulating on Facebook:
WARNING...DO NOT OPEN DO NOT OPEN..... REMOVE THE feed posts "see who's viewing your profile" its a virus spreading like wild fire. Do not click on it just remove it from your walls. Face book has been posting all day for people to stop opening this app PLEASE REPORT THIS APP TO Facebook. PLEASE FOLKS PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!!!! (copy and paste to your wall to warn others)
While the advice not to click links to the rogue app is worth heeding, the message tends to exaggerate the danger of the app and contains inaccurate information. The "see who's viewing your profile" application is certainly one that Facebook users should avoid, but it is not accurate to describe it as "a virus spreading like wild fire." The app is not a virus. Warnings that contain exaggerated or inaccurate information can be counterproductive.

Bookmark and Share References
Beware of Dubious Facebook 'Free Offer' Groups
My First [email protected]' Rogue Facebook Application

Last updated: 25th January 2011
First published: 7th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer