Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is not found yet. Dozens of videos doing rounds on social media claiming that the missing plane has been found are scams. Don’t click on those links because they are being spread by hackers, whose primary motive is to gain access to your personal information. They can either sell your private data to affiliate marketers or use it to gain access to your account. Here’s how it works.
Don’t click on ‘shocking videos’ about Malaysia Airlines
You might have encountered (or may see soon) links with headlines saying that it has a shocking video of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Here are a few examples:
“[Shocking Video] Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea.”
“Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea – 50 people alive saved.”
“CNN UPDATE [Breaking] Malaysian Airplane MH370 Already Found. Shocking Video”
Malware intelligence analyst Chris Boyd told Wired UK that links being spread on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) are nothing more than a trap. Hoax Slayer.com has urged users not to click on these links. The website says that the photographs that appear in such links is actually of a plane crash near Bali (Indonesia) in April 2013.
Scam artists using ‘Malaysia Airlines’ name to gain access to your private data
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) users who click on the “shocking video” links are lead to imitations of news websites. Users find that they will first have to complete a survey before they can actually watch the video. It looks like a Facebook survey, asking for permission to gain access to your profile. If you grant them the permission, the scam artists gain access to your personal data like email address, phone number, education, friends, etc.
Such links get thousands of clicks, which means scam artists gain the personal information of thousands of social media users. They can sell this information to online marketers. A Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) spokesman told CBS News that spam and phishing violate its community standards. He said the social networking site has removed those links, but users should be aware of them, nonetheless.