Did you click that malicious video link on Facebook?

Published April 21, 2021, 11:36 AM

by Art Samaniego

If your answer is yes, then you’re in big trouble. A 2015 malware has recently re-emerged, and this time it is more dangerous. It’s called Facebook “malicious tagging”.

Malicious tagging could gain control of your Facebook account and then send private messages and publish posts with a link tagging your friends on Facebook, people in your Facebook groups, and users who you engaged with on Facebook in the past. The posts and messages could help spread the malware as your friends are more likely to click the link if it’s coming from you. If you see your name being tagged by people you do not know, this means that your friends are safe (for now). The people who tagged you are the people you might have engaged with in the past thru comments or thru Facebook pages.

While this malware is doing its rounds on Facebook, scammers could also use other platforms. So be careful.

How does it work?

First, you would get a notification that you have been tagged in a post. Most of the time, the post would just be a video with a thumbnail that’s not fit for kids to see. Of course, a sexy video would be very tempting to watch especially if it comes from your friend and you would see that many of your friends were also tagged.

Once you click the link, you would be redirected to a page asking you to update your Flash player so that you could watch the video. DO NOT download or update anything. If you do, the malware will then be installed on your device. It would then scan your system for sensitive information that could be used to access your financial accounts. It will also take over your Facebook account by posting a video with a link tagging people in your friend’s list.

What to do?

If you see a Facebook post where you, your friends, and many other users are tagged, do not click the link. Believe me, the only interesting content of that link is the malware that could make your life miserable. Immediately notify the friend who tagged you and tell him to run the latest antivirus software on his device, it is also wise to change the password and activate 2FA immediately. While this malware is doing its rounds on Facebook, other platforms could also share the same malware. I have received an email containing the same link. So be careful.

You can also secure your privacy settings by changing to “only me” who can see posts that you are tagged. If you set it to everyone, other people could see if you’re tagged by the scammers. Also, make sure that you “review tags to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook”. Activate the “Review posts you are tagged in before the posts appear on your profile”, if this is OFF, tags would automatically appear on your wall. If you are annoyed with the notifications informing you that you have been tagged by users you don’t even know, change it to “Friends Only.” All these could be accessed by going to Settings and Privacy then click Settings. Go then to Privacy options and Notifications and change the settings to your preference.

Lastly, always think before you click. Scammers know what’s your weakness and they would use it to trick you.