The entire world is watching as authorities and news organizations try to get to the bottom of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, so of course, hackers are latching onto the tragedy to try to scam unsuspecting Facebook users. The new malware, which could land on your Facebook News Feed at any given moment now, uses fake news alerts and videos to lure you to click.
According to The Independent, "The posts contain videos that look legitimate and claim the plane has been found in various places, from the Bermuda Triangle to having been spotted at sea, with many stating its passengers are 'alive' or 'saved.' Many of the links are prefixed with the words 'Breaking' or 'Shocking video' to grab people's attention." Ugh.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg ...
Other links ask you to share pages call "Pray for MH370." Many include links to phony news sites that ask readers to "share" the story before they can watch a video.
To protect yourself, you might want to beware of headlines like the following, as shared by Wired.com:
"[Shocking Video] Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea."
"Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea -- 50 people alive saved."
"CNN UPDATE [Breaking]Malaysian Airplane MH370 Already Found. Shocking Video"
The tech site goes on to warn that any user that fills out associated surveys will be sharing personal information with third party marketers the scammers sell on the information to. Chris Boyd, a malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, explains:
Popular fake scam pages can be shared hundreds of thousands of times, and there's big money in it for anybody willing to plumb the depths of human misery. There have also been cases of survey networks serving up malware files, so these scams are never quite as straightforward as they seem.
So vile ... and sickening to think that scams like this are actually preventing people from clicking on legit news. Guess the best we can do is use our best judgment and think twice before clicking anything that pops up about MH370 -- or any similarly tragic, international news story.
Have you seen these scams in your Facebook feed? How do you avoid them and still get your news?
Image via Facebook