A new viral video scam has lured thousands of Facebook users with a fake tape of a girl killed by her husband because she kissed another man, according to Bitdefender. The antivirus software provider revealed the scam continues to claim victims among curious social networkers, and drops adware or malicious code on targeted computers.
More than 4,000 people apparently liked and shared the video, but the numbers may be faked by scammers seeking to add credibility to the bait.
It all starts with a horrifying message on a friendâ€™s timeline. â€œGirl killed by husband just because she kissed another men.â€ Yes, all you grammar Nazis, women and men, read that right! The bait is apparent footage of an Asian woman about to get her head chopped off with a sword.
The scammy video is spreading on Facebook timelines and groups, as well as on fraudulent blogs and other web sites. Some even explain how the footage ended up on the Internet. â€œHer husband made this video and uploaded it online,â€ descriptions read.Â
To take a peek at the sordid passionate crime footage, users are forced to â€œlike the video to see the website content.â€ But their like or share doesnâ€™t trigger the play button because a new event prevents the video from opening. As with many other scams, no matter how many plugins you install, thereâ€™s always that â€œspecialâ€ one missing. This universal plugin ploy is as popular as the fake Flash Player update that delivers malware.
â€œThe delivered adware has access to Non-Personally Identifiable Information (NPII) such as the type of the browser, the country and the Operating System,â€ Bitdefender Virus Researcher Stefan Hanu said. â€œIt 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.â€
Aggressive adware collects private details to better target users with customized ads. Marketers value such information, as promotional campaigns are considered more accurate and more profitable.
Adware is also an increasing trend on Android devices, where mobile e-threats have been recently shifting from SMS Trojans to ransomware, banking and free apps bundled with adware and spyware.
The â€œgirl killed by her husbandâ€ video also seems to have a +18 restriction â€“ another trick designed to add credibility and entice more users. For improved SEO, the scam circulates either with the â€œsad videoâ€ or â€œsadic crimeâ€ headline.
A similar scam started making rounds on Facebook at the beginning of the year, luring users with a fake video of a girl that supposedly killed herself live on webcam after her dad saw her doing something outrageous.
To raise awareness among Facebook users, Bitdefender recently released its annual list of the top 10 scams making rounds on the social network. The research also showed an increasing number of viral video scams abusing Facebookâ€™s like and share options.
Like and share schemes using horrendous images (maimed animals, suffering children, women being killed) have been around for a while now. For more information about Facebook scams, you can also check Bitdefenderâ€™s Top 10 scams and hoaxes you should recognize in 3 seconds.
To stay away from social media e-threats, users can also install Bitdefender Safego, a free Facebook app that scans timelines and alerts them in case of malicious and fraudulent posts.
Users are advised to keep their operating system, antivirus solution and other software updated, as hackers tend to exploit vulnerabilities found on the system. Users should also avoid completing Facebook surveys, share or â€œlikeâ€ websites in order to view a video, or install updates via viral videos.
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This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Bitdefender Senior Virus Researcher Stefan Catalin HANU.