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Users in Major Countries Impacted by A Fake Facebook Messenger Update Scam

We live in a fast-moving age where people sometimes don’t really bother to think before clicking on web links, and this has resulted in widespread problems related to cyber security and user privacy. In a lot of ways these issues are starting to become increasingly prevalent, and a recent example can be seen with Facebook Messenger where in users in over 80 countries ended up receiving a scam that purportedly offered an advanced update for the service but was in fact just a ploy to obtain login credentials and the like from these users.

The analysts over at Group IB revealed that around a thousand fake Facebook accounts were involved in the attack, and while these accounts have been removed they managed to put up nearly 6,000 posts that claimed to offer Messenger updates. These posts involved various misspellings of Messenger that a lot of users didn’t even end up noticing since the logo was accurate to what they recognized and the vast majority of users don’t really pay attention to text since logos and other kinds of images usually offer them all of the information that they might need all in all.

If you are wondering how these malicious actors were able to post these scams on Facebook despite all of the filters that are put in place specifically to prevent such things from happening, all the scammers really needed to do in order to get around the filters was to use a URL shortener. This is a pretty basic tool and it is surprising that Facebook had not put protocols in place to avoid it being misused in such a manner.

Once an unsuspecting user clicked on the link they would be shown a login page that looked more or less legitimate and once they entered their login details the malicious actors would be able to easily take control of their account. The features offered in this supposed Messenger update would obviously be rather attractive to a lot of users such as the ability to see deleted messages and the like, but the fact of the matter is that Facebook is not working on these features so one should be wary whenever they see an update that is supposedly offering them for one reason or another.

This shows just how essential it is to educate people about how they can go about protecting themselves online. These kinds of situations are only going to get worse if people don’t take action, and since tech companies will always be unable to plug all of the loopholes that allow hackers and scammers to get away with such things, it is up to users to take their safety into their own hands.


Read next: An internal Facebook memo shows the company’s plan to normalize the news of massive data leakage of its users

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