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Rumors of Facebook Charge Used to Distribute Malware

The security experts informed that a fake rumor stating that social networking site Facebook is looking to charge $4.99 per month from its users. The rumor is reportedly being used by malware distributors to deceive users into their malware trap.

Several discontented punters, annoyed at the Facebook charge supposed to come into effect from June 2010 (or July 2010 as per some other false reports),, have been persuaded to visit the websites of "protest group". However, actually, there is no such arrangement and the so-called protest webpages usually carry malware.

In fact, this page was a luring trap for the unsuspecting users and clicking on some of its components started a script that hacked users' systems. Some of those who clicked those elements had their PCs hijacked by a chain of extremely unpleasant images while malware concurrently tried to download itself onto their systems.

The Facebook authorities have also verified that the news is purely a swindle. When asked whether Facebook would ever impose a charge on its users, chief operating officer of the firm, Sheryl Sandberg, replied that there is no such plan in their mind to charge a nominal fee for their services, reported Snopes.com on December 31, 2009.

Therefore, it seems that the perpetrators of this hoax cooked up a story regarding Facebook charge and instituted a group apparently objecting to such a charge, simply as a means to dupe users into accessing the malicious site and perhaps hijacking their systems.

It is worth noting that despite Snopes.com publishing its alert regarding this on December 31, 2009, groups on the social networking site (Facebook) itself objecting the alleged institution of charges are still in action around two weeks later (starting in the second week of January 2010).

The reports claimed that the phony Facebook Group has apparently been eliminated, though the malware site is still live. The security experts informed that despite the removal of this specific forged group, users should be careful, as malware circulators can possibly use identical scams on Facebook and other social networking websites as part of their ongoing attempts to trick users into installing malware.

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