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Is it Facebook or spambook?

Posted by Tania Mirza Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clicking on chat messages containing unknown links may make you vulnerable to hackers, lead to data theft

'Facebook'ing nowadays is becoming more and more unsafe, with users being bombarded with spam messages containing malicious links. Police and cyber experts have warned netizens about this new 'phishing' method, and appealed to them to refrain from clicking on suspicious links.  This new spam is activated through the usual Facebook chats, often without the sender even coming to know about it.

Beware: The new spam is activated through facebook chats

How it works
When you are online on FB chat, suddenly a chat window opens from an online friend. This chat window does not contain the usual 'Hi' or other greeting from your friend; rather, it contains a link. While the user is under the impression that this link is sent by his friend, it is actually spam. The link, when clicked on, spreads viruses.  Not only that, the sender is also unaware of any links sent through his chat account. This is a chain spam message. If you click on it, it also gets forwarded to the other friends on your list.

Gaurav Patil, working with a reputed software company says, "I was absolutely unaware that it was spam. I was under the impression that my friends were sending useless links. Till date, I've never bothered clicking on them. I tried asking a friend, who then told me that it happens through some application. That's all I know."
Sneha Sringare, a MA student of Fergusson College said, "I have been getting these messages for quite some time now. I did not know it was spam but I knew that my friends were not sending it. What makes it pretty obvious is the fact that the same message pops out from everyone's chat."

Cyber expert Rohit Srivastav from ClubHACK briefed MiD DAY about the preventive measures that users should take to prevent or avoid the spam messages. "Resist the urge to click on such links. Have fun, but also exercise caution. It's an open platform and attackers are getting smarter everyday," Rohit said.

 Police Inspector Dr. Sanjay Tungar, from the Cyber Crime Cell said "Many a time, users unknowingly share their personal information while registering for any application. The spammers collect email ids from such networks and send malicious links to them. The best way to avoid this is to religiously avoid clicking on the links and just close the chat window. If possible cross-check with your friends to verify whether they have really sent the link to you."


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