Warning: Viral Video Scam Snaring Facebook Users
Thousands of Facebook users are falling for the latest viral video scam, complete with shocking image of what appears to be a woman about to be beheaded.
Internet security firm Bitdefender has revealed the scam continues to claim victims among the curious, with the bait appearing on a friend’s timeline as a video claiming to show an Asia woman to be beheaded by sword simply because she kissed another man.
The video is spreading across Facebook timelines and groups, as well as dodgy fake blogs and other web sites.
The scam’s perpetrators are fishing for clicks by suggesting the woman’s husband “made the video and uploaded it online”.
To add to the video’s clickability, it claims to be have an 18+ restriction on viewing its contents, but it’s just another trick designed to add credibility, as are headlines claiming it is a “sad video” or a “sadistic crime”.
Those that click expecting to watch the video are forced to “like the video to see the website content”, and are then tempted to install a missing codec that will make the video start playing, which never happens as the video doesn’t exist.
Clicking the install button sees a download start of malicious .exe file on user computers, ready to install adware or other malicious code if the installation proceeds.
BitDefender says 4000 people have “liked and shared the video”, but warns the figure is likely illegitimate due to “scammers seeking to add credibility to their scam.”
Bitdefender Virus Researcher, Stefan Hanu said: “The delivered adware has access to Non-Personally Identifiable Information (NPII) such as the type of the browser, the country and the Operating System
“It can also communicate with a server and receive dynamic rules that can check, for example, if a certain application or antivirus is installed.
“Based on all these computer and user details, scammers may serve other links and payloads, targeting users with more efficient baits, in their own language. When it comes to adware, this is a recurrent and quite mediocre technique they use to increase illicit gains depending on the trend and statistics.”
Bitdefender says aggressive adware now collects “private details to better target users with customised ads”, with marketers valuing such information highly given they can create promotional campaigns that are considered more accurate and more profitable.
Adware is also increasing on Android devices, form mobile e-threats that have been recently shifting from SMS Trojans to ransomware, banking and free apps bundled with adware and spyware.
The latest video scam mirrors another from earlier this year, with that fake video purporting to show a girl supposedly killing herself live on webcam.
Bitdefender recently announced its annual list of top 10 Facebook scams, which we reported here.
Aside from Bitdefender’s free Safego app to scan social media profiles for malicious posts and other threats, the Company also suggests users “keep their operating system, antivirus solution and other software updated, as hackers tend to exploit vulnerabilities found on the system.”
There’s also the suggestion that users also “avoid completing Facebook surveys, share or “like” websites in order to view a video, or install updates via viral videos.”
As always, what has been clicked on social media cannot usually be “un-clicked”, so please be careful out there.