Farcebook

Are hackers inserting 'sexual videos' into the walls and profiles of your Facebook friends?

Jurgen Appelo/Flickr

Claim: Hackers are inserting "sexual videos" into the walls and profiles of your Facebook friends.

FALSE

Example: [Collected via e-mail, November 2011]

THE HACKERS ARE PUTTING SEXUAL VIDEOS TO YOUR NAME IN THE WALLS / PROFILES OF YOUR FRIENDS WITHOUT YOU KNOWING IT. YOU DONT SEE IT, BUT OTHER PEOPLE CAN SEE IT, AS IF THESE WERE A PUBLICATION THAT YOU MADE! ALSO, THEY'RE SENDING INBOX MSGS TO YOUR FRIENDS ASKING YOU TO CLICK A LINK. DON'T DO IT!! SO IF YOU RECEIVE SOMETHING FROM ME ABOUT A VIDEO OR A STRANGE INBOX MESSAGE, IT'S NOT ME! copy this in your wall. It is for the security of YOUR OWN IMAGE!!! And REPORT IT!!!!! ALSO IF U ARE ASKED TO VOTE ON A PICTURE. DO NOT GO & VOTE: IT'S A HACKER!! POST THIS TO YOUR WALL FOR YOUR FRIENDS
ATTENTION:THE HACKERS ALREADY ENTERED IN FACEBOOK & THEY ARE PUTTING PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEOS TO YOUR NAME IN THE WALLS OR PROFILES OF YOUR FRIENDS WITHOUT YOU KNOWING IT. YOU DON´T SEE IT, BUT OTHER PEOPLE CAN SEE IT, AS IF THESE WERE A PUBLICATION THAT YOU MADE! SO IF YOU RECEIVE SOMETHING FROM ME, IT'S NOT MINE! copy this in your wall. It is for the security of YOUR OWN IMAGE!

Origin:In September 2011, warnings about hackers invading the accounts of Facebook users to post pornographic movies on their walls without their knowledge began circulating in e-mail and on social networking sites. These messages usually contained cautions meant for friends of those users to avoid "opening" (clicking links to) those movies and to avoid "voting" on any proffered picture sent via the same channel.

We've yet to encounter any verified account of "hackers" having surreptitiously inserted "invisible" risqué films into the Facebook accounts of innocent users, posts which those users cannot see but are visible to their friends. Sometimes images that appears to be links to pornographic videos show up in compromised Facebook accounts, but those posts are clearly visible to the account owners. Folks who are therefore using social networking sites prudently should not fear they're about to unknowingly begin issuing porn video come-ons to their friends and family.

In an incident completely separate and unrelated to the two-months-earlier warnings cited above, in mid-November 2011 Facebook users began to report a rash of pornographic pictures (and other disturbing images) showing up across the social networking site. This occurrence was triggered by spam messages that tricked users into falling for a "self-XSS" scheme that had them copy and paste JavaScript into their browsers' address bars, thereby exploiting a browser bug which hijacked Facebook accounts, posted the disturbing images on news feeds, and spread the images to others.

A new variation appeared in 2016. In this case, the hapless user still cannot see what is being spread on Facebook in their name, but instead of pornographic videos, it supposedly spams Facebook contacts with offensive and insulting comments (that the user still cannot see).  While this variation is also not real, it can perhaps serve as a reminder to periodically change and update passwords to social media sites.

Last updated: 27 June 2016

Originally published: 31 August 2011

Featured Image: Jurgen Appelo/Flickr

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