As aforementioned, the social network already offers a “like” button that allowspeople to rate and respond to other people’s comments and posts. Online securityfirm Sophos said it was the latest in a series of “survey scams” that included linksto a video purporting to show an anaconda snake vomiting up a hippo. “One thingwe commonly see is that the message starts with ‘OMG, shocking video’”, Sophosspokesman said. Basically the problem is that the viral links “appear to come fromyour Facebook friend, giving it a ringing endorsement.”
The dislike button scam prompts people to download an application with thefollowing message: “Download the official DISLIKE button now”. When usersclick on the link, it prompts them to install a rogue application, which does notfunction as a dislike button nor any other button. Instead, once a user has giventhe application permission to access their profile, it updates the user’s page with alink and a message: “I just got the dislike button, so now I can dislike all of yourdumb posts lol!!!”. According to Facebook usage polls, turns out many people aregiving permission for completely unknown apps, thinking they are totally unharmful.
As for the surveys (linked from the spam messages), they appear to be from genuinecompanies. As far as most users can tell, they appear to be legitimate. “It couldbe that the firms are not policing their affiliates properly”, Sophos suggested. Thescam finally points users towards a Firefox add-on that installs a “dislike” button.The add-on also appears to be legitimate. By the way, according to many antiphishing sites, the scam makers did not respond to any request for comment.
A spokesperson for Facebook said that the site had a “very quick process in place”to make sure that links and rogue applications were taken down quickly. “We alwaysencourage people to not click on links that appear suspicious – even if posted froma friend”, a spokesperson said. “They can report any posts to us. We can make surethat we take down any application or all of the links across Facebook.” But manyweb security specialists suggest that although Facebook could respond quickly, itshould police the development of rogue applications more closely. They claim thatanyone can write a Facebook app, thus these scams are constantly springing up.
Finally, while the advantages of using Facebook are obvious, it comes with its veryown share of problems, so always remember to protect your personal data andbeware of useless innocent looking requests.
The CEO Game.