'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' hackers profiting from viral Facebook links

Videos are links to fake sites or spreading malware that hackers make money from

Viral Facebook posts claiming the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight has been found are pieces of malware and links to fake surveys posted by hackers, who are now profiting from people’s growing interest in the story.

The posts contain videos that look legitimate and claim the plane has been found in various places, from the Bermuda Triangle to having been spotted at sea, with many stating its passengers are “alive” or “saved”.

Many of the links are prefixed with the worlds “Breaking” or “Shocking video” to grab people’s attention.

Latest: Families told missing flight crashed into Indian Ocean

Chris Boyd, a malware intelligence analyst for Malwarebytes, told Wired.co.uk that his company first saw the links spreading on Twitter, with “a mixture of tweets leading to known sites originally posted to Facebook and a new batch of spamblogs, survey scams [and] imitation news sites”.

 

Some of the fake video sites ask people to share groups such as “Pray for MH370” on Facebook, while other links take people to realistic looking news sites where users have to click “share” before being able to watch the videos.

The same scams have been seen with previous disaster stories such as the Japanese Tsunami from 2011 and the Philippines earthquake last year. Boyd, who previously tracked scams in relation to these events, said: “They ranged from Malware and 419 scams to fake donation pages and search engine positioning.

“Anything involving a potential disaster is big money for the scammers, as there’s a split between clickers with a penchant for salacious content and those who simply want to know if a relative is OK, or if there’s any more news on a breaking disaster.”

Scammers then profit from the fake surveys that appear when users follow the links in the posts, while users that fill out the surveys will be sharing personal information with third party marketers who have bought the information.

Boyd said popular fake scam pages can be shared “hundreds and thousands of times” and that “there’s big money in it for anybody willing to plumb the depths of human misery.”

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Software Implementation Consultant

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks