MISCELLANEOUS

The old, the new and the crazy

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One way or another I’m gonna getcha, getcha, getcha….actually, not you-you, but your Facebook profile. It’s social scammers’ favorite tune of the week, apparently.  This famous Blondie song goes quite a way back, 1978 to be more precise, which means that this an oldie but goldie for some of us.

Speaking of oldies, first on the dissection table (yeah, I’ve decide to give this article a gory aura, what with the pinkish invasion of last week’s Valentine’s review), a precious member of the Malitia class Faciem Codex order. Of all the scams we’ve gotten acquainted with so far, this one’s got the tiniest of aspirations, in that it does not promise to give you the Moon or to present you with magic statistics on a silver plate (how many hours you’ve been logged in to Facebook, anyone?). No, Sir, no. Its aim is simple: to give you back your old Facebook profile and picture viewer.

Good work, boys, excellent use of people’s resistance to change. Psychology has developed a whole theory about why humans have a hard time accepting changes, emphasizing on the fact that this is a multiple-stage process, which presuppose, among other things, going into denial and bargaining to find a way out of the situation you’re in (see the Kubler-Ross grief cycle, proportions maintained). As expected, one can get stuck along the way to acceptance and thus become vulnerable to…attack. A trembling hand goes click and …puff!

On comes the Permissions page.

Who cares that the thing that’s trying to install on your account is called FriendFunQuiz, right? Even with this name, it’s bound to bring ole Papa back. Allow, of course!

 

Psychology lesson number 2. No, not the one on deja vus (does that mean that you’ve read my other articles? sigh). But the one on how illusions can play a huge role in persuading you to do something that you would have otherwise thought twice about before launching yourselves into.

You can see it clearly in the background, you can even testify about it in court: “Yes, Your Honor, it was THERE. In plain sight: Get the Old Facebook Profile Back!!?”. It’s THE PROMISE (and let’s not forget that we’re in a vulnerable stage here…denial or bargaining, my Goodness!).

But first, a trick that even an old dog can learn. Get into the quiz maze. And on we click.

To cut a long story short, the first quiz, which is actually an IQ test, will not give you your answer unless you give it your mobile number. Then you get a code word that you have to send in an SMS to another phone number and so on and so forth….Wasted time and money.

Hey, what about my old profile? Can’t have it unless you write ten letters to the King of Internet every day. He lives next door to Santa, so you’ll get two things done at once.

Enough with the jokes, already. Coming back to our leitmotif, if you were ever curious about finding out the story behind the Blondie song, well, it seems that it was inspired by the songstress being stalked by one of her ex beaus. The danger, the thrill! We’ve got both ingredients in our next scam of choice.

Oh, no, they’re after my profile (which actually means that they’re after me, the virtual me!)! What to do? What to do? Let’s click.

Copy and paste a piece of code in my browser? Why not? I hear it’s the new thing!

And then we get a very polite “please wait!” message.

But, but, but…..I stammer with excitement. Here’s what you’ll get instead of your account verification!

Nice prank. So nice, that the thingie will start spreading the word in your name, as YOU, so all your friends can join you!

Back to Blondie. Last time, promise! Let’s just say you hear the song for the first time and you don’t know its story. So what you hear is what you make of it. “I’m gonna getcha”…..who’s this fervent admirer?

Click, allow app, you know the drill.

This is quite a perky little thing. It takes you plenty of places:  on a site where you can install a toolbar (spyware alert??), on another site where you’re supposed to download a program allowing you to see movies on YouTube (malware alert???) or it takes you to quiz land. Let’s not forget about its passion for crowds. “Gather around, people!”…and so it writes on your wall and on your friends’ walls, plenty of times.  Take a look at the mess below!

 

 

As always, BitDefender safego is there to help you keep your accounts safe.

Happy sharing, everyone!

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Tudor Florescu, BitDefender Online Threats Analyst

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.