Facebook Messenger Plagued With Malicious Links Spreading Malware: Kaspersky

The latest social chat service to become a victim of malicious malware and adware links is Facebook Messenger. According to Kaspersky Labs, cybercriminals are sending malicious links to Facebook Messenger users, helping track browser activity and display targeted advertisements – and thereby generating revenue.

Interestingly, the malicious link arrives through one of your friends account on Messenger to fake legitimacy. The message reads “David Video” and then is followed up with a bit.ly link. Clicking on the link will take you to a Google Docs page having a screenshot photo of that Facebook friend, and it is made to look like a playable movie.

When you try to click on the fake playable movie, the malware redirects you to a set of websites that are different based on the browser you use. “By doing this, it basically moves your browser through a set of websites and, using tracking cookies, monitors your activity, displays certain ads for you and even, in some cases, social engineers you to click on links,” said David Jacoby, senior security researcher in the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab..

Facebook Messenger Plagued With Malicious Links Spreading Malware: KasperskyFor example, Firefox and OSX Safari browsers are redirected to a website displaying a fake Flash Update notice, and then offered a Windows executable and a OSX executable respectively, both of which are flagged as adware. Google Chrome website redirects you to a website which mimics the layout of YouTube, even including the YouTube logo. It then shows a fake error tricking you to download a malicious Google Chrome extension from the Google Web Store.

The biggest play here is that it is made to be sent by one of your friends on Facebook, increasing chances of you clicking on it. We advise you to not click on any unknown links, before rechecking for its legitimacy with the friend who sent it. Avoid clicking on random shortened links as much as possible on Facebook Messenger, even if they are sent from friends. “The people behind this are most likely making a lot of money in ads and getting access to a lot of Facebook accounts,” said Jacoby. The cybercriminals behind these attacks are unknown at the moment.

ZDNet got in touch with Facebook to ask if they were aware about the matter. A spokesperson for Facebook told the publication, “We maintain a number of automated systems to help stop harmful links and files from appearing on Facebook. If we suspect your computer is infected with malware, we will provide you with a free antivirus scan from our trusted partners. We share tips on how to stay secure and links to these scanners on facebook.com/help.”

Blue Whale Challenge: Delhi High Court Expresses Concern Over Suicides

The Delhi High Court on Thursday expressed concern over children allegedly committing suicide while playing the ‘Blue Whale’ Challenge, an Internet suicide game, that has been allegedly linked to the deaths of several children worldwide.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also wondered why adults were getting into this game, in which dangerous tasks like self-inflicting of wounds on the body, are assigned to the player by administrators during a 50-day period.

The bench said it can understand children getting influenced, but why were adults getting involved in it.

“If an adult is told to do a task, why would he/she go and jump from a building,” it said, adding that “we are wondering why both children and adult are doing this”.

The high court, however, refrained from passing any order on the plea seeking direction to the Internet companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo to take down the links of the Blue whale.

It wished to know whether the government has issued any prohibition order with regard to downloading of the Blue Whale game.

The court also sought to know from the petitioner, advocate Gurmeet Singh, whether any such incident has happened in Delhi. It asked the petitioner whether any prohibition order could be passed on Thursday and fixed the matter for further hearing on August 22.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT had directed the Internet majors – Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo – to immediately remove the links of the deadly Blue Whale Challenge, which has led several children in India and other countries to commit suicide.

The PIL on Wednesday was moved in the High Court seeking directions to Internet companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo to take down the links of ‘Blue Whale’.

Citing deaths of children in India and abroad, the advocate, who filed the petition, sought immediate directions to restrain the Internet majors from uploading any material pertaining to the Blue Whale Challenge.

He also sought direction to the Delhi Police to appoint a special five-member team to oversee whether the Internet companies comply with the court’s direction.

Blue Whale Challenge: Delhi High Court Expresses Concern Over SuicidesThe sudden popularity of the lethal online game – Blue Whale Challenge, in which the final task requires the player to commit suicide, has forced the government to issue directions to the Internet giants to remove the links of the dangerous game.

The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days and the final task leads to committing suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing the challenge.

The petition said “there are so many children and people being adversely affected by this menace namely Blue Whale Challenge and they do not even know that the same will cost their life and their families will suffer heavily. All citizens of India will be benefitted if the said menace is stopped.”

More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives playing this game within a span of two weeks.

Deaths of teenagers have been reported from other countries including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile and Italy, the PIL had said.

Lithuanian Man Pleads Not Guilty to Defrauding Facebook and Google

A Lithuanian man accused of defrauding Facebook and Google out of more than $100 million pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in US court on Thursday.

Evaldas Rimasauskas, 48, entered his plea through an interpreter before US Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in federal court in Manhattan, clad in a blue and white striped shirt and faded blue jeans. He arrived in New York on Wednesday night after being extradited from Lithuania, US prosecutors said.

Rimasauskas did not ask for bail and remains in custody.

“We’ll follow the procedural run of the case and make sure he gets a good defence,” Rimasauskas’s lawyer, Robert Peabody, told reporters after the plea.

US prosecutors charged Rimasauskas in March with engaging in an email fraud scheme in which they say he bilked Google and Facebook out of more than $100 million by posing as an Asian hardware vendor.

The prosecutors did not name the companies, but Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has confirmed it is the Asian vendor and a Lithuanian court order identified the victims as Facebook and Google. The companies could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Lithuanian Man Pleads Not Guilty to Defrauding Facebook and GoogleRimasauskas allegedly defrauded Google out of $23 million and Facebook out of $99 million, according to Lithuania’s top court, which ordered his extradition earlier this month.

He is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, which each carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, and identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years.

The alleged scheme is an example of a growing type of fraud called “business email compromise,” in which fraudsters ask for money using emails targeted at companies that work with foreign suppliers or regularly make wire transfers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in June 2016 that since October 2013, US and foreign victims have made 22,143 complaints about business email compromise scams involving requests for almost $3.1 billion in transfers.

Facebook, Google Activate SOS Features After Barcelona Attack

Soon after the Barcelona attack that left 13 people dead, Facebook and Google activated their safety check features to let users in the vicinity inform their friends that they were safe and get nearby support.

Facebook created a page, titled “The attack in Barcelona, Spain” which users used to “check in as safe”, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.

Recently launched SOS alert feature by Google gave people up-to-date news and information about Barcelona attack.

The page also included helpful phrases for those who might be affected.

Facebook Safety Check was introduced in 2011 and was used for only natural disasters until 2015 Paris attack.

It was later widely used in terror attacks that took place in London, Nice and Berlin.

Facebook, Google Activate SOS Features After Barcelona Attack“When Safety Check is activated, users who Facebook determines to live or spend a lot of time in the affected area are sent a push notification asking if they want to check in as safe,” the report explained.

The feature sends a notification to friends of those who check in – confirming they have been marked as safe.

This also opens up ways for the people to offer help for those who are in need of help like food, shelter or medicines.

On the similar lines, Facebook introduced “Community Help” feature in February and claimed that it was inspired by the response to flooding in Chennai in which many people opened up their homes for the affected.

Blue Whale Challenge: Delhi High Court Sends Notice to Facebook, Google Over Centre’s Direction

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the response of Facebook, Google and Yahoo on a plea to direct them to take down the links of Blue Whale challenge, an Internet-based suicide challenge that has been allegedly linked to several deaths of children worldwide.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi Police asking them to inform about the steps they have taken in this regard.

While issuing notice to the Indian units of the Internet giants, the bench also directed them to file a status report with regard to the steps they have taken in pursuance to Centre’s direction to ban the online challenge called the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’.

The plea, filed by advocate Gurmeet Singh, has sought immediate directions to restrain the Internet firms from uploading any material pertaining to the challenge challenge, citing cases of suicide by children in India and abroad.

The court listed the matter for August 28 by when it has sought the responses from all the authorities.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police counsel Sanjoy Ghose informed the court that the cyber security cell was active in this regard and the Centre has also issued a direction.

On August 15, the Ministry of Electronics and IT had directed the Internet majors – Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo – to immediately remove the links of the deadly Blue Whale Challenge.

The sudden popularity of the lethal online challenge – Blue Whale Challenge, in which the final task requires the player to commit suicide, had forced the government to issue the directions to the Internet firms to remove the links of the dangerous challenge.

The high court had on August 17 expressed concern over children allegedly committing suicide while playing the challenge.

Blue Whale Challenge: Delhi High Court Sends Notice to Facebook, Google Over Centre's DirectionThe Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide challenge in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge.

More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives playing this challenge within a span of two weeks, reports have said.

Deaths of teenagers have also been reported from other countries including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile and Italy, the PIL has said.

Nintendo SNES Classic Mini Pre-Orders From ‘Late This Month’

Nintendo has announced that the SNES Classic Mini console will be available for pre-order later this August. The news comes via the company’s Facebook page.

“We appreciate the incredible anticipation that exists for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, and can confirm that it will be made available for pre-order by various retailers late this month,” the company said in a post.

Furthermore, it claims to have increased the number of units that will be made present at stores in order to avoid a scenario akin to the NES Classic, that was hard to find at launch and even tougher to find soon after.

“A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year,” the post reads.

Nintendo SNES Classic Mini Pre-Orders From 'Late This Month'Earlier, Nintendo confirmed that the SNES Classic will be available for this year only. The complete quote is as follows:

“We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition. Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.

Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content.”

Facebook’s Social ID App Hello Is Pretty Much Dead

Facebook appears to have given up on Hello, a Truecaller-like social ID app that it began to publicly test in select markets two years ago, as Android and iOS introduce similar built-in features for their customers.

Available exclusively on Android, Facebook’s Hello – Caller ID & Blocking app tapped the network’s social graph to display information about the person a Hello user was attempting to call, or receiving a call from. Additionally, the app, which also served as the default calling app on Android, could also be used to block users.

At the time of the initial release Hello was only available in three markets: the United States, Nigeria, and Brazil. The company had noted that it intends to bring the social ID app to more places. But two years later, not only is the company yet to expand the reach of Hello app to more geographies, it hasn’t even released any software updates to fix issues with the app.

The Google Play listing of Hello app is filled with bad user reviews, but the company, which updates its Messenger and marquee Facebook app once or twice every week on Android and iOS, hasn’t pushed any updates to Hello in two years. A spokeswoman of Facebook did not comment on this story. According to app analytics firm App Annie, Hello app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times on Google Play worldwide.

“Hasn’t been updated in almost 2 years so I assume it’s basically been abandoned,” a user wrote earlier this year. “I set it as the default dialler on my [Samsung Galaxy] S7 but it isn’t recognised and incoming calls use my stock dialler,” the user added. “Nice idea. Faulty execution Supposed to block spam calls. The rare case it does you get multiple notifications. No time saved dismissing those,” another user adds. “This is a joke. I tried my neighbourhood public library phone number and it did not find it. I put the number in the Google search box and it showed me the info for that number in the first link,” a different user added.

The company began publicly testing Hello in April 2015. At the time, Hello Product Manager Andrea Vaccari said the app could solve a major problem. “More than 1 billion phone calls are made in the US ever day. The experience of the phone call hasn’t evolved in a long time.” According to Vaccari’s LinkedIn profile, he is now working on Messenger.

As Facebook abandons the app, its popularity is also dropping. “In the US, Hello has been downloaded from Google Play for close to 327,000 times since it first launched in 2015. And in Brazil, that number is about 147,000. In Nigeria, Hello has approximately 20,000 downloads from Google Play since 2016,” Ruika Lin, mobile insights strategist at analytics firm Sensor Tower told Gadgets 360.

Facebook's Social ID App Hello Is Pretty Much DeadIn the recent quarters, with little push from Facebook, the app is seeing a decline in number of downloads. “So in the US, the app experienced an initial surge in downloads within the first week or so after it rolled out on April 22, 2015. Then downloads went pretty flat for about a month and a half, and it had a second surge in late June 2015, which lasted for a little over a week till early July. Since early July 2015, the install has been pretty much flat and minimal,” Sensor Tower’s Lin added.

“In Brazil, the initial surge of downloads lasted for also about a week, and daily downloads have been flat and minimal since early May 2015. Daily downloads in Nigeria since the beginning of 2016 have also been flat and minimal. Overall, in the past six months and a year, downloads of the Hello app have been pretty flat for all three countries, showing no significant fluctuation.”

It’s unclear why Facebook gave up on Hello, as several people found the app useful, going by their reviews. Perhaps it’s because users don’t need such an app any more. Google introduced a similar feature in Android in 2016, and with iOS 10, Apple also opened CallKit, allowing apps such as Truecaller, which has over 200 million active users and sees over three billion searches, dialler access.

Lithuanian Man Pleads Not Guilty to Defrauding Facebook and Google

A Lithuanian man accused of defrauding Facebook and Google out of more than $100 million pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in US court on Thursday.

Evaldas Rimasauskas, 48, entered his plea through an interpreter before US Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in federal court in Manhattan, clad in a blue and white striped shirt and faded blue jeans. He arrived in New York on Wednesday night after being extradited from Lithuania, US prosecutors said.

Rimasauskas did not ask for bail and remains in custody.

“We’ll follow the procedural run of the case and make sure he gets a good defence,” Rimasauskas’s lawyer, Robert Peabody, told reporters after the plea.

US prosecutors charged Rimasauskas in March with engaging in an email fraud scheme in which they say he bilked Google and Facebook out of more than $100 million by posing as an Asian hardware vendor.

The prosecutors did not name the companies, but Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has confirmed it is the Asian vendor and a Lithuanian court order identified the victims as Facebook and Google. The companies could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Lithuanian Man Pleads Not Guilty to Defrauding Facebook and GoogleRimasauskas allegedly defrauded Google out of $23 million and Facebook out of $99 million, according to Lithuania’s top court, which ordered his extradition earlier this month.

He is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, which each carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, and identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years.

The alleged scheme is an example of a growing type of fraud called “business email compromise,” in which fraudsters ask for money using emails targeted at companies that work with foreign suppliers or regularly make wire transfers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in June 2016 that since October 2013, US and foreign victims have made 22,143 complaints about business email compromise scams involving requests for almost $3.1 billion in transfers.

Facebook, Google Activate SOS Features After Barcelona Attack

Soon after the Barcelona attack that left 13 people dead, Facebook and Google activated their safety check features to let users in the vicinity inform their friends that they were safe and get nearby support.

Facebook created a page, titled “The attack in Barcelona, Spain” which users used to “check in as safe”, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.

Recently launched SOS alert feature by Google gave people up-to-date news and information about Barcelona attack.

The page also included helpful phrases for those who might be affected.

Facebook Safety Check was introduced in 2011 and was used for only natural disasters until 2015 Paris attack.

It was later widely used in terror attacks that took place in London, Nice and Berlin.

Facebook, Google Activate SOS Features After Barcelona Attack“When Safety Check is activated, users who Facebook determines to live or spend a lot of time in the affected area are sent a push notification asking if they want to check in as safe,” the report explained.

The feature sends a notification to friends of those who check in – confirming they have been marked as safe.

This also opens up ways for the people to offer help for those who are in need of help like food, shelter or medicines.

On the similar lines, Facebook introduced “Community Help” feature in February and claimed that it was inspired by the response to flooding in Chennai in which many people opened up their homes for the affected.

You might apply for your next job on Facebook

Facebook is moving forcefully into the personal space of LinkedIn today with the announcement that it’s rolling out new features that will enable job posting and application directly on the site.

In a blog post , Facebook stated that starting today businesses in the US and Canada would be able to post job openings which future employees would be able to easily find either on that business’ page or in the new jobs bookmark.

According to Facebook, the entire process will be simple for businesses as page admins will be able to set up job listings, track applications and directly communicate with applicants all on the Facebook site.

Job feed

Things should be simpler for applicants too. Rather than trawling through several job sites, the idea is that you could come across your dream position simply doing your habitual News Feed scroll.

Though you’ll also be able to do a more targeted search and find postings in the jobs bookmark and on specific pages.

To apply for a job you simply click the Apply Now button and a form that’s been pre-filled with all the information you’ve already supplied to Facebook via your profile will appear for quick and easy submission. To add more convenience it can all be done on your mobile too.

This isn’t the first step Facebook has taken into our working lives. Late last year the social media giant launched Workplace , a kind of cross between Facebook and Slack that allowed people to stay connected and communicate in their workplace without using their everyday Facebook account.

That said, this particular feature does use your personal Facebook profile so if yours doesn’t quite paint you as a professional paragon, we’d advise you to fix it up before you start applying for anything.

At the moment the feature is only available to users in the US and Canada with no indication as to when or if it’ll be available in other regions.