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Facebook Dislike Button

Claim:   Facebook "Dislike" button harbors a virus.



[Collected via e-mail, August 2010]

Have you seen a message like this on Facebook?

I just got the Dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!!

If so, don't click on the link.

It's the latest survey scam spreading virally across Facebook, using the tried-and-tested formula used in the past by other viral scams including "Justin Bieber trying to flirt", "Student attacked his teacher and nearly killed him", "the biggest and scariest snake" and the "world's worst McDonald's customer".

[Collected via e-mail, May 2011]

ATTENTION FACEBOOK USERS: If anyone posts a status to your wall saying anything about a dislike button, DO NOT CLICK IT ! It installs a virus called Virotrex which is used to redeem passwords and other sorts of information. RE-POST THIS TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE.


Origins:   Offering a "Dislike" button — the antithesis to Facebook's popular "Like" feature — has been used before as a lure in order to further the spread malware and scams. In August 2010, for example, a "Dislike" app was used by scammers to trick users into completing an online survey:
Falling for any of these scams (which promise some lurid or eye-popping or exclusive content) typically trick you into giving a rogue Facebook application permission to access your profile, posting spam messages from your account and asking you to complete an online survey.

And the same is true with this latest scam, which tempts you with the offer of a "dislike" button (as opposed to the normal "like" button) so you can express your opinions on other users' posts, links and uploads.

If you do give the app permission to run, it silently updates your Facebook status to promote the link that tricked you in the first place, thus spreading the message virally to your Facebook friends and online contacts:

But you still haven't at this point been given a "Dislike" Facebook button, and the rogue application requires you to complete an online survey (which makes money for the scammers) before ultimately pointing you to a Firefox browser add-on for a Facebook dislike button developed by FaceMod.
Sophos warned of another such usage in May 2011:
Don't be too quick to click on links claiming to "Enable Dislike Button" on Facebook, as a fast-spreading scam has caused problems for social networking users.

Messages claiming to offer the opposite to a like button have been appearing on many Facebook users' walls.

Clicking on the link, however, will not only forward the fake message about the so-called "Fakebook Dislike button" to all of your online friends by posting it to your profile, but also run obfuscated Javascript on your computer.

The potential for malice should be obvious.
(The second example reproduced above is erroneous in its specifics, as there have been no confirmed reports of a virus named Virotrex, nor are the "Dislike" button scams password-stealing applications.)

Last updated:   17 May 2011

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