Cyber-security company, ESET, has reported an increasingly common Facebook scam.
It sends malicious video links with the title “My first video”, “My video”, or “Private Video”, through messenger to a user’s friend list in the hopes of installing malware on the user’s computer.
The link can also tag various people from a victim’s friend list on a status in the hopes of luring them into clicking on it.
If the scam is successful and the user clicks on the malicious link, they are instantly redirected to a fake YouTube website whereby they are tricked into installing an extension to load the content.
For example, “Sorry, if you don’t install Video Play plugin, you will not be able to watch the video! Click ‘Add Extension’ to watch the video”.
If the victim clicks and installs the malicious plug-in, the browser they are using will become infected.
“It’s very concerning that this malicious link is targeting users directly through the messenger app, letting them think it is their friend sending a video. Many users would think it is safe to click, but when the fake YouTube website comes up, they should not go any further,” warned ESET senior research fellow, Nick FitzGerald.
“Signs to watch for is massive tagging, weird titles and links targeted at you. If you eventually click on it, watch for the link name, the fake YouTube website as well as a pop up asking you to install an extension. The safest option here is just to message back your friend and ask if they meant to send that video or if their account has not been infected.”
“There is a way to get rid of it however it may become more powerful and dangerous in the future with more capabilities to post messages, create pages, add friends and follow or unfollow profiles. The best thing is to avoid clicking on any suspicious link and not download any plug ins coming from those links,” he added.
How to get rid of it if you have been infected:
- Immediately remove the “Make a GIF” extension from your Chrome browser
- If you use the legitimate “Make a GIF” extension, check on the official google store the original version from the infected one
- Scan your computer with a reliable antivirus software