Security Experts Warn of New 'Likejacking' Scam

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook users are once again being warned of a new online scam designed to send unsolicited messages to all of their friends via the social network site.

The warning comes from Sophos, a well-trusted security developer and vendor of anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software. Sophos announced that "hundreds of thousands" of Facebook users have already been duped by what is being referred to as the "likejacking" scam.

The most common form of the likejacking reported by victims starts with a message carrying the tagline "This man takes a picture of himself EVERYDAY for 8 YEARS!" The targeted user is then encouraged to click on a provided link. (Source:

Naturally, the link is corrupt, taking the user-turned-victim to a blank page with only a tab that reads "click here to continue".

Spoof Propagates Without Consent

Clicking on the tab publishes the original message on their own Facebook page, complete with a "like" notation, which effectively recommends the unwanted link to all of their Facebook friends.

This dupe is a play on valid "like" notations. For example, if a Facebook user views an interesting (legitimate) video on YouTube, they can upload it to their (or a friend's) Facebook page so that other friends can view the video and click on the notation that reads "like". These notations also accompany text-based and photograph posts. (Source:

Facebook Spamming Intensifies

The likejack spam comes off the heels of another Sophos-issued warning last week concerning a malicious Facebook scheme designed to dupe users into installing adware onto their machines. Adware is a software package that automatically plays, displays and/or downloads advertisements onto a victim's computer.

With hackers keeping their finger on the pulse of popular social trends, especially as it relates to social networking sites that span hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, all users must remain vigilant of these types of spoofs.

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