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Industry News

10 Jan 2011

April Fools Day comes early to Facebook

Facebook users were tricked into clicking on photos that contained viruses and anything but pictures over the weekend.

The social networking site wasn’t just subjected to viruses, but elaborate hoaxes and scams including false rumors about the site being shut down in March and that rap superstar Tupac Shakur was murdered by former music mogul Suge Knight.

In order to access the information regarding the death of Shakur, readers had to complete a 30-second survey proving they were human. This is where the scammers were able to make their money, as people filled out the useless survey.

Another hoax actually was supposed to be from a Facebook vice president of technical affairs, however it was from Avrat Humarthi, a fictional character urging users to remove their pictures since the company supposedly would be going out of business.

"Unlike the majority of Facebook scams we report, this one actively infects your computer with malware instead of simply tricking you into taking surveys and passing on messages to other users," said Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos.

More than 125,000 people clicked on the fake links on Facebook. The viruses and scams are also making their way through Twitter posts with links to Facebook applications.