SYDNEY & AUCKLAND - April 19, 2012 - Bitdefender®, the award-winning provider of innovative antivirus solutions, has uncovered scams on Facebook and new content sharing service, Pinterest. A Facebook post announcing a limited-time Pinterest Visa gift giveaway prompts users to ‘Share' the news and ‘Like' an unknown page, then takes them to a webpage carrying potentially malicious content.
References to the 1030 remaining gift cards and almost 6.5 million people having already liked the unknown page, adds extra ammunition to the scammers' efforts to persuade as wide an audience as possible.
Though it poses no real danger to Pinterest fans, this new scam variant strengthens the umbilical cord that seems to tie together the two major online social networks of the moment. Yesterday, a sex-themed scam took online socialites from Pinterest to Facebook. Not so long ago, Facebook ads linked back to a Pinterest gift card scam. It is becoming clearer that scammers have decided to take very seriously their role as social network go-between. We may well be witnessing the birth of a new entity in the classic scam-making scenario: the victim mule, which steals "impressionable" or novice users and carries them, even temporarily, from one platform to another.
Classic social baits such as leaked sex-tapes and gift cards have already proven to be not platform-dependant, but human-dependant, so that a joint Facebook and Pinterest plan to warn users against such e-threats might be necessary. For the moment, it seems social network security is dealt with as if each new virtual social playground that springs up, is by default safe from the perils its predecessors have run up against. A more proactive and collaborative approach might save all online social players, old and new alike, a lot of trouble.
This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Tudor Florescu, BitDefenderOnline Threats Analyst. All product and company names mentioned herein are foridentification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.
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