As we have grown to expect in the case of any disaster, cybercriminals are quick to exploit any headlines for their dirty work. Without the slightest sense of human compassion, only hours after the tragic occurrences this weekend, they struck with their scams.
Facebook quickly saw the arrival of links to fake sites like this:
There are more variations on the theme, but all lead to survey scams and infected websites. But by now, unfortunately, this is nothing new. In spite of fake links appearing practically after every major event in the last year, the speed with which they spread indicates they are getting clicked on with great enthusiasm from Facebook users. There have also been spam emails encountered, but as these are by now mainly routinely blocked by antispam filters, the crooks are shifting focus to social networks, where users’ curiosity works in their favour. Users want to click and see more details about a hot topic, and by doing that, they unwillingly propagate the scam, as the link like the one they clicked is posted to their friends’ news feeds. While the activity of social networks is hard to measure exactly, some sources still suggest the latest wave is infecting as much as one user per second.
ESET Ireland recommends extreme caution with all headline-related sensationalist links on social networks. Think before you click!