“We pay very close attention to new threats and malicious content on Facebook in order to ensure a fast response to protect customers”, says Barracuda. This close attention unearthed what it calls a “wave of post activities started by a group of ‘meaningless’ accounts.”
The posts in question concern an apparently trivial game headed “ADDING GAME”. Intrigued, and working on the assumption that there is a purpose to everything, Barracuda looked closer. Firstly it found that there are hundreds of these pages, and that “all of these accounts have a picture of a sexy young lady as the profile picture.”
“We wrote some programs to collect these ‘adding game’ related accounts, and the results show that they total about 695 pages. The highest number of likes for a single page is 57,515, and the average is 1,041 likes per page,” notes Barracuda. There is a clear tendency for many Facebook users to simply ‘like’ anything they are asked to; and the very absurdity of the ‘game’ makes this simply more alluring.
The purpose is clear, suggests Barracuda: “to collect large numbers of eyeballs, fans, or likes during the game!” The hidden agenda then becomes clear from two examples. “One of them is promoting a Twitter account @Thatkid_Albert and a Tumblr page: hxxp://dopekiidsupreme.tumblr.com/ (WARNING: pornographic),” says the company, “and the other is promoting several other Facebook accounts. As both examples have more than 30K+ likes, these promotions are easily pushed to many real users.”
“We are not clear who originally started and currently manages this game and the related accounts,” Barracuda’s security researcher Jason Ding told Infosecurity. “But as this strategy is an effective way to grow social user base and social influence, it is very likely there is a marketing group behind this spreading social game to gain profits. We are continuing to monitor them to see any new trends.” Barracuda’s advice is simple and clear: “if you see these ‘adding games’ posts, DO NOT follow the instructions, and please IGNORE them.”