Atrocity Videos and Celeb Sex Tapes Bombard Facebook

Cyber-criminals are increasingly turning to fake celebrity sex tapes and atrocity scams as bait to lure Facebook users into unwitting malware downloads, according to new research from Bitdefender.

The Romanian security vendor has just released findings from a two-year research project which analysed over 850,000 scams on the social network across the globe.

It found that the same old tricks are being used time and again by attackers, with slight variations.

Of the top five most popular, number one was the classic ‘guess who viewed your profile’ scam (45.5%), followed by ‘functionality scams’ claiming to offer elements that don’t even exist, such as ‘dislike’ buttons and different timeline color schemes.

Third was bogus giveaways like free Disneyland tickets, accounting for 16.5%.

However, a more worrying trend is the propensity for Facebook users to click on videos and links purporting to show celebrity sex tapes (7.5%) and so-called ‘atrocity videos.’

“Like and share schemes using horrendous images, such as maimed animals, suffering children, and tortured women, now account for almost 1% of all scams,” said Bitdefender chief security strategist, Catalin Cosoi.

“The latest example is a malicious girl killed by her husband video, that has been infecting users with adware and malware.”

Bitdefender urged users to ensure their OS, anti-virus and software like Adobe is kept up-to-date to minimize the risk of vulnerabilities which hackers could exploit. It also warned Facebook users off completing surveys, sharing or liking websites to view videos and installing updates requested by viral videos.

“Facebook is already tackling scams threatening the security and privacy of its users by deleting malicious content and reacting quickly to user reports,” Cosoi told Infosecurity.

“However, given the high number of hackers and cyber-criminals, it’s hard to eradicate these scams completely. Improved user education should be a common effort, starting from Facebook to the general media. Companies should also train their employees for better security practices when it comes to social media.”

Bitdefender has released a full white paper on the research here.

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