A video scam has been circulating on Facebook since Tuesday, tricking users into downloading and installing software by offering up a video of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. On Wednesday, hackers switched the bait to what was supposed to be a saucy video of Hayden Panettiere and Rhianna.
In both cases there is no such video. People who click on the link are sent to a Website that tries to install the fake antivirus software.
On a PC, victims are told that they should install the newest version of Adobe Flash Player to watch the video, but instead end up with the fake antivirus program installed on their computer. On the Mac, there’s a pop-up window that looks like a security warning. When victims click to “fix” the security problems, they end up installing the fake software.
Once installed, the software pops up scary warning messages and takes the victim to a pornographic Website every five minutes until the victim pays for a software license-usually a $60 to $80 charge. The software also posts the video links to the victim’s wall in an attempt to lure new victims. Paying the money for the fake antivirus product apparently puts the software into a dormant state where it doesn’t cause any more damage, said Chet Wisniewski, a researcher with antivirus vendor Sophos.
If you don’t pay the cash, porn sites will continue to appear on your computer every five minutes, and links to the original malicious videos will be posted to your Facebook wall.
A Facebook spokesperson on Wednesday had no answer as to why the scam was so difficult to stop, but did say that the social network was “in the process of investigating, blocking the links, and remediating any affected users.”