Facebook hit by new iPhone spam attack

Hit fraud behind free Apple lure

Facebook users are being warned about a new spam scam that tries to tempt users into visiting a website with the promise of a free Apple iPhone.

It's a pretty basic nuisance scam as such things go. According to security company Sophos, the following message appears on a user's message wall: "Anyone want my old phone? Claimed my free iPhone today, so happy lol... If anyone else wants one go here [link]."

Clicking on the link brings up an 'allow' message which if clicked allows the rogue application to access that user's information profile before redirecting them to a commission-earning website.

Luckily, there is no malware on the end of the weblink. It is merely an old-fashioned attempt to generate traffic for which the scammers are paid. However, one negative effect by anyone who falls for the lure is that their friends will then be spammed by the same bogus message.

This seems to have been happening on some scale within Facebook since Sunday.

"If you are one of the many Facebook users who has fallen for this scam, my advice would be to check your privacy and application settings and remove references to the rogue application before it can cause any more trouble,* said Graham Cluley of Sophos.

Confusingly, the latest iPhone spam attack comes only days after a similar if more serious incursion saw some Facebook users hit with spam also pushing iPhones and iPads. That attack allowed pictures to be posted to user's walls without their approval.

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John E Dunn

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