Monday, November 26, 2012

A lot of people on Facebook have been re-posting this message:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

Here's the tl;dr version if this post:
A hoax post has been flying around stating that if you repost it, you are legally protected from facebook and other entities from reposting your content, as well as using it against you. Unfortunately even though this post is for a good cause, it's not going to protect you at all.

Legally you already accepted Facebooks terms of service and that contract you have with them was established prior to your posting. You already gave consent to facebook to reproduce and copy your information. As well as gave them permission to manage your privacy on Facebook. You do however retain all ownership rights to your content.

Here's some more detail:

Upon registration you automatically agree to Facebook's terms and conditions as well as agree to any of the updates they make to these terms and conditions. You are already bound to them.

Here is a sumarization of What Facebook's privacy policy states in regards to your information

Every action you and your friends make on facebook is monitored and stored by Facebook. Some actions made on websites not owned by facebook are monitored through Facebook Like buttons, and Facebook login systems.

Information you deem "Public" is available to anyone on the internet, whether or not they are members of facebook, and whether or not they are in your friends list.

The following information is ALWAYS publicly available:

  • Your Name
  • Profile picture and cover photos
  • Network- schools you've attended, businesses you've worked at
  • Your Gender
  • Your Username and User ID
Facebook lists a ton of uses for the information you provide it so I'm not going to list all of them, but I'll list ones that some may find controversial or interesting.

  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see, including to deliver relevant ads to you;
  • for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.

The most important statement in their privacy policy is this:
While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don't share information we receive about you with others unless we have:
  • received your permission;
  • given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
  • removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.
The unfortunate part is "Of course, for information others share about you, they control how it is shared."

Facebook stores your information for as long as it feels necessary. Facebook as the right to scan your photos using facial recognition software.

For those concerned with their privacy and not okay with Facebook's policies, Facebook offers two options:

  • Account Deactivation - immediately hide everything from your account. Your information however is still stored in Facebooks servers indefinitely in the expectation you will some day return to reactivate your account.
  • Account Deletion - Your information remains on Facebooks servers for 90 days and then gets deleted. Some information isn't deleted, you're messages to others continue to be stored, as well as posts to groups.

If you choose to delete your facebook account but don't want to be completely out of the social networking circle. I highly recommend trying out Google +.  It's privacy settings are a lot easier to understand and are quite successful. Also Google tends to protect user information like a bank protects your information, they make sure you intentionally approve permissions that you give to apps and games.

Sources: Hoax SlayerSnopesFacebook's privacy policy,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Facebook Facial Recognition

Facebook has been gathering data from you photos and has now created a new tool to use facial recognition to tag people in photos. This doesn't sound like a bad idea at first, even Google did this with Picasa. The bad part is this is Facebook. The site riddled with thousands of privacy issues that grow every time a new feature is launched.

The new feature doesn't give a person the chance to approve being tagged. This means if someone posts a bad picture of you in a bad situation, or a situation that looks bad but wasn't that photo could be put up by one of your friends and suddenly it's a mark on your record permanently. You can't take it down, you have no control over it.

Also you only have the option to opt out, it's not an opt in sort of thing, meaning if you know about it, you can try to dive into your privacy settings to find the opt out but you'll probably spend 15 minutes searching for it. It also means, right now the facial recognition software has been scanning all of your photos.

Facebook may even push the ability to use facial recognition onto their app developers, resulting in that facial recognition data being spread out across the world out of your control. This data could be used for harmful things, such as stalking a person, ruining someones reputation and more horrible acts. Facebook could even use it to tailor ads to you. For example,  your buddy was drinking Michelobe Light in one of your photos, you didn't drink at all but were tagged in the photo. Suddenly beer ads start showing up like mad on your Facebook pages.

The software sees someone you're associated with smokes weed or does an illegal drug, suddenly your seeing related ads to that.

This information could be used later on to create a mobile app that could identify you in real time just by viewing your face for a split second. Instantly everything you did online is revealed to a person you never met just because they pulled out their phone for 2 seconds.

Google had actually planned on creating software that could do the above in Google Goggles but decided it was too big of a privacy issue. So Google put out that they will never create such software. Facebook on the other hand has a huge reputation of not caring about anyone's privacy and simply putting out peoples information then after months finally making it possible to hide it again.

What do you think of the new facial recognition tool? good, bad, unsure? post in the comments!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bin Ladin's Death spurrs Bin Ladin Scams

A tip came in about this, I haven't seen this personally but be wary of links related to Bin Ladin's death:

A link which claims to point to a shocking video of the death of bin Laden is already spreading virally across Facebook just hours after his death was announced. The messages, posted as updates on Facebook users’ walls, claim to point to banned video footage of bin Laden’s death. But instead of a shocking video, users are presented with a survey which gives scammers money every time it is completed.

Paul Ducklin, Head of Technology in Sophos Asia Pacific, advises computer users to watch out for scams related to bin Laden’s death not just on Facebook but on other parts of the internet too.

couple tips to avoid scams:
  • Don’t blindly trust links you see online, whether in emails, on social networking sites, or from searches. If the URL and the subject matter don’t tie up in some obvious way, give it a miss.
  • If you go to a site expecting to see information on a specific topic but get redirected somewhere unexpected – to a “click here for a free security scan” page, for instance, or to a survey site, or to a “download this codec program to view the video” dialog – then get out of there at once.  Don’t click any further as it is a scam.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Browser Exploit: See what you'll look in the future!

A new browser exploit has surfaced, this one takes control of a users browser without them knowing. It sends messages to all of their friends and posts messages to their walls.

This exploit says " hahah mine is hilarious!!! check yours out :)
See what you'll look in the future!
This cutting-edge technology will show you exactly how your face will look in the future!"

This scam spreads very virally as it tries to put out links that users would likely click as well as take over the inftected users chat and send messages to everyone in their friends list.

First things first, if you use Internet Explorer, stop using it, it's the least secure browser and things like this WILL happen to you again if you don't.

Set your Facebook account to use SSL(basically it's military grade encryption, this makes it super difficult for hackers to attack you). If you wish you may also set your account to send you an email when someone else logs into your account.
Unfortunately now it's time for the clean up. Start an anti-virus scan, and while it's scanning go on Facebook, look through all of your out-going posts(you can see these by clicking on your name(this takes you to your profile page)) delete all of the malicious posts, and bulk message ALL of your friends let them know this happened and tell them to ignore any links that your account sent to them. Otherwise your friends will all get infected too as the scam spreads.

Now that you've done that, change your Facebook password, it is possible that it was stolen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mac users hit with Anti-virus scam when using Google Image Search.

This article is a direct reposting of an article by Sophos. All images and content in this message are from them unedited, I claim no rights to their content, simply spreading the word.
A massive SEO poisoning attack has hit Google, targeting Windows and Mac users alike. From rather innocuous terms related to global warming, to hot topics like Osama bin Laden's death, users are being hit with fake anti-virus programs, this time delivering payloads to users of Apple's Mac OS X.
JavaScript Fake AV scannerStrangely when surfing to the compromised URLs you are first prompted with a JavaScript-based fake scanner that appears to show an infected Windows XP computer, even when surfing from a Mac.
When you click or close the fake scanner page you are prompted to download a .zip file onto your Mac with a filename like "".
Some of the downloads are a package installer that installs the fake software; others simply a contain ready-to-run Mac application.
Fake AV for Mac installer/download
In a similar social engineering trick as we have seen in Windows fake scanners it pretends to be a legitimate Mac anti-virus program calledMacDefender.
The scanner doesn't actually touch the hard disk while "scanning", although on a Mac it can be hard to know without a hard disk light.
It pretends to find some very important things that may have been compromised, such as the Terminal application and the standard Unix utilitytest, also known to Unix shell programmers as [.
Mac fake scan results
Credit card at risk warningIt uses a lot of social engineering including redirecting your browser to rather offensive porn sites, although it does not appear they are doing this to make money, simply to imply that you are infected.
It also uses scare tactics like your credit card data being at risk. The reality is that your credit card is only at risk if you actually try to purchase the fake software.
Buy fake Mac AV

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(your friend) has answered a question about you!

If you see the message "[insert friend's name here] has answered a question about you!"
Be very wary of this wall post. It's not a real app, it's actually a clever hackers browser exploit. What happens after you click the link is your web browser is hacked,

I used my fake account to check out this scam and after clicking the link which causes the exploit, it takes you to the installation/permission page for the app Friend Expose, which is an app that seems to be spreading around rapidly. This app however appears to actually be a fraud in itself. It's only pretending to be a question app.

How do I know this?

I literally JUST made my fake Facebook account It has only one friend added, that friend is my real Facebook account. but this is what  I see in the app:

The app tells me people answered 62 different questions about me and that I can "unlock" who said what.

Seeing as I'm my only friend on this account, and on my real account I don't even have friend expose. This isn't even possible.

Friend Expose gives you credits  for "answering questions about friends".

The app mimics question apps because it makes it even more stealthy, stealthy enough to not get caught by Facebook. I answered the question with "yes" just for shits n giggles.
Yea I do have a nice ass! lol
Immediately it shot my real account a message. Web Of Trust immediately shows Red meaning other users have rated as unsafe. I have the web address highlighted with my mouse(shown at bottom of screenshot) This link leads to a site off of Facebook, what happens there is the browser exploit is installed into your browser without you ever seeing anything, it quickly redirects you to install friend expose if you're the user without it.

This app is in essence a very very very well made scam, it cleverly disguises itself as a friendly question app when in reality it's really infecting all of your friends. The app also allows you to do surveys or use paypal to buy more credits to unlock the answers to your questions. I kept asking questions until I had 50 credits. Unlocked a question and it told me that my real account answered the question.

Reality is, it just picked a random person from my fake accounts friends list, and since I'm the only friend on it, it picked me. My real account doesn't have the app and therefore CAN'T answer the questions on the app.

Thus a fraud to steal money exploit web browsers and spam the crap out of everyones Facebook walls.

What to do if you fell for this scam?
Remove Friend Expose from your Facebook account.
The Browser Exploit will still be there, but your account won't have the app anymore. Next you must  reinstall your browser or switch web browsers. I recommended using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. I highly suggest against Internet Explorer.

Let your friends know, link this article to your friends that appear to have been affected by this malicious app.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Web Of Trust - 1 easy way to protect yourself against scams and bad sites on the web.

There's a great tool out there that you may have heard of, it's called Web Of Trust. Web of Trust is a free browser add-on that shows an indicator on the reputation of a website, if the reputation for a site is poor the indicator will show red as well as pop up a message as soon as you pull up the site, letting you know, it's not a safe site and asking you if you would like to stay on the site.

Even for advanced computer users who can spot scams almost immediately, Web Of Trust is still useful.
Users can report sites that they believe to be suspicious, as well as give the site ratings.

Web of Trust also has begun protecting you on places like Facebook and Twitter. Whenever you see a link that leads off of Facebook you will see an indicator icon near the link to tell you the ratings on the site.

I highly reccomend this addon to everyone.

Click here for an example of the detailed ratings on a site you get from Web Of Trust(WOT for short)

Click here to go to the Web Of Trust Website