Not more than 24 hours after the judgement of the so called “Spam King” is handed down, it looks like MySpace is under attack from spammers again. For months I have gone without “Friend Requests” of busty blondes wanting to show us their webcams. Tonight, I opened my profile to find about 10 new Friend Requests. When I went through the 10 profiles, it was almost the exact same profile with only the main photo changing.
Sanford Wallace was the man known as the Spam King. He would send messages to MySpace users which would redirect them to his site. MySpace filed suit last year, and on March 15th, Wallace pled guilty to felony fraud.
What Wallace did was he sent fraudulent emails. However, this attack is different because it is internal – a profile facade. You think you are adding a new friend, when in fact you are adding a profile that redirects to another site for either profit for the site, or possibly downloading of Malware ( I didn’t click on it to find out).
The “Bots” as they are called set up a profile, and then make the profile look like it’s an actual user. They use a program that will send friend requests to other MySpace users. The idea is not unlike a Multi-Level Marketing plan. Show it to 100 people, and maybe 1 or 2 will bite. When that happens, they use their friends list as a new node to send off more requests.
MySpace, along with other web companies, implemented “CAPTCHA” to try and counter this. CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart”. This was usually a picture of warped letters and numbers in a random sequence where the “Human” would enter into the form request. This would verify that a computer is not generating the request and allow access to continue.
CAPTCHA has recently been broken by other software. So what was a great way to thwart bots has now become a small hurdle for those bots to get over. Earlierin the year, it was reported that MySpace’ CAPTCHA code was broken. The new friend requests prove that, for on My MySpace site, I had CAPTCHA enabled for friend requests.
Unfortuneatly, some people have a need to hack into a system. Some might just look around and maybe put their mark on the site to show they’ve been there. Others try to make money off the new found entry. There are even some that decide to rip down someone elses hard work for self satisfaction.
At any rate, if you are a MySpace user, watch out for this new attack. It’s been a couple months now since I’ve seen it or any of my friends has had to endure. Always check out a profile you don’t know, and do not click on anything INCLUDING VIDEO. Best thing to do it mark it as SPAM and move on.
If you do (by accident) select a link on the page, close your browser instantly. Clear out your cache and history. Delete your cookies. You know, the regular stuff.
Hopefully a new technology will help out on this issue. Maybe a new type of CAPTCHA option that will change up the processes so bots cannot be programmed to follow through. And remember – just because this issue was on MySpace doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen on Facebook, Hi-5 or another Social Network. So always proceed with caution.