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Spam attack hits Facebook's own Help Center


November 28, 2011

The community forum on Facebook's Help Center has become overrun by spammers, making the self-help support community effectively useless.

The spam messages, which at the time of writing are claiming to offer ways to watch live streaming video of American football games, appear to have been posted by bogus or compromised Facebook accounts.

Clicking on the links typically takes you to a webpage which asks you to hand over your email address, claiming that you will be sent a program that will allow you to watch live streaming video of football games. The potentials for abuse or malicious attack are obvious - and we would recommend that no users click on the links.

The alarm was first raised about the spam attack by the
unofficial Facebook privacy and security blog. Hours later, new spam messages are still appearing on the Facebook Help Center.

Could it be that the spammers are taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when Facebook's security team may be more lightly staffed than normal?

Certainly it's embarrassing for the social networking website to have one of its own pages hit so significantly by spammers, when it has recently been lauding its achievements in the fight against Facebook spam.

With approximately 800 million users on Facebook, spammers will continue to seek out holes in the site's armour and try to trick the unwary into clicking on their links. To have the best chance of success, Facebook needs 24 x 7 protection, every single day of the year, and to raise awareness of the risks amongst its userbase.

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