- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Facebook fanatics are being told to steer clear of a scam that capitalizes on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that a “dislike” button is in the works.

The “dislike” feature hasn’t rolled out just yet, but scammers are said to be taking advantage of the hoopla surrounding the announcement by using the news to help spread malware.

There haven’t been any developments with respect to the supposedly imminent feature since Mr. Zuckerberg said earlier this month that Facebook’s developers were “very close” to making a dislike button available to the site’s one billion users. As the world waits, however, account holders are being asked to avoid clicking on posts that offer false promises of early access to the “invite only” feature.

Links have popped up recently in Facebook news feeds directing users to a specific site in order to “get newly introduced Facebook dislike button on your profile [sic].”

Researchers said the posts are actually part of a scam that collects sensitive info and may be installing malware. The Hackread website reported the bogus links are being circulated as part of a phishing campaign intended to harvest personal information and possibly much more.

According to the site, clicking a link that promises the installation of a “dislike” button will redirect a user to a new page where they will be asked to fill out a survey. That questionnaire will also attempt to collect login credentials, however, which can then be harnessed to let a bad actor send the link to an affected account’s friends list and perpetuate the scheme further.

“Don’t be duped. If you’re a Facebook crack-addict then try to resist the urge of falling for the latest scam, and wait for Facebook to properly roll-out new features as and when they choose,” security analyst Graham Cluley cautioned in a blog post Monday.

“Don’t worry - when it happens (whatever *it* might be) I’m sure there will be plenty of members of the media writing about it,” he added.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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