If you use Facebook Messenger, be careful clicking the links your friends send as it could make you vulnerable to cyber criminals.
David Jacob, an IT security researcher, says cyber criminals have devised a new scam that tricks users to send out virus-infected hoax messages to their friends. Each message includes the recipient’s name, the word ‘video’ and a shocked emoji, followed by the link, adds Jacob.
Users who click on the malicious link are directed to different malicious sites depending on their browser. For example, Google Chrome users who click on the link are taken to a fake YouTube channel that is baited with adware, while Firefox users on Windows and Mac are taken to a page offering a fake Flash Player installer, which infects the user’s device with adware. Jacob explains:
“The link points to a Google Doc. The document has already taken a picture from the victim’s Facebook page and created a dynamic landing page which looks like a playable movie.
“When the victim clicks on the fake playable movie, the malware redirects them to a set of websites which enumerate their browser, operating system and other vital information. Depending on their operating system they are directed to other websites.”
If downloaded, the malicious software will infect the user’s device, causing it to automatically send a hoax message and link out to the user’s Facebook Messenger contacts. The software can also trick the user to download more adware, which will fill up the user’s device with spam adverts.
Some victims have reported that the software has tracked their infected smartphone’s keyboard activity, reports The Daily Mail.
Stay vigilant. If you fall victim to this scam, cyber criminals could steal your banking details and make away with your money.
Don’t click any suspicious link from your friends. Instead, reach out to them and inform them that their accounts may have been compromised. You can also report the malicious links to Facebook.