Facebook Help Center Community Forum overrun with spam
Spammers have attacked the Facebook Help Center Community Forum over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the US. Most of the spam consists of links for live streaming American sporting events.
The Facebook Help Center’s page for asking questions about various help topics has been overrun with spam. All 22 sections of the Community Forum, as well as each of their subsections, have been attacked by spammers.
There are multiple Facebook accounts being used in the attack: some are asking questions and others are answering them. It’s not yet clear if these are bogus accounts created for just this purpose or if the perpetrators have compromised already-existing Facebook accounts.
The spammers are trying to lure users with the usual nonsense: most are links for streaming live sports matches (boxing, football, hockey, and so on), but the usual weight loss offers are also present. Some of them are just text, but most include a link to a third-party website.
Almost all of the links lead to a webpage asking you for your e-mail address, although some just take you to a bogus website with ads. It doesn’t appear any of these webpages contain malware, but spammers can always change where the links redirect you to. Do not click on any of these links.
It’s possible the spammers are taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the US. I’m not sure whether more users check out the Community Help Topics during this time, but it’s very likely Facebook has fewer staff working to get rid of threats like this one.
This attack has rendered the self-help support community effectively useless. Legitimate questions are being pushed down towards the bottom; on most of the sections, the first page only contains spam. I have contacted Facebook with this issue and will update you if I hear back.
Update: “Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us, and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “Recently, our Help Center Community Forum experienced an increase in spam claiming to offer streaming video of American sporting events. We are taking steps to address the issue and encourage people to protect themselves by never clicking on strange or suspicious links.”
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