us receiving mysterious messages, seemingly from Facebook’s security team, telling them that their accounts have been suspended.
The spam messages, however, are not legitimate.
In reality they have been sent out by fraudsters posing as Facebook’s real security team, with the intention of phishing credentials from unsuspecting users.
Part of the message reads:
We have reviewed the suspension on your account. After reviewing your account activity, it was determined that you were in violation of our Terms of Service. We have provided a warning to you via email, but you do not respond to our notification. Therefore, your account is permanently suspended, and will not be reactivated for any reason.
If you think this is a mistake, please verify your account on the link below. This would indicate that your account does not have a violation in playing on our application. We will immediately review your account activity, and we will notify you again via email.
Note : If within 12 hours, you have not verified your account on our link, then you have ignored our notifications. Therefore, your account is permanently suspended, and will not be reactivated for any reason.
One curious thing about the message is that it comes from Ŧacẻbóok Sẻcurƚy – clearly someone using non-standard characters in an attempt to fool the unwary into believing that they represent Facebook’s Security Team.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice the spelling mistake in the url that you are asked to click on – another hint that something strange is afoot.
But obviously there is a danger that some people will be so freaked out by the possibility that their Facebook account will be permanently suspended that they will rush into clicking on the link without thinking of the possible consequences.
If you do click on the link you are taken to a phishing webpage which asks you to enter an array of personal information.
The use of official Facebook images is deliberate – designed to trick the unwary into believing they are sharing their name, email address, password, credit card details, date of birth and answers to secret questions with Facebook’s team.
Cybercriminals could use the information to break into your Facebook account, or send further malicious attacks directly to your email address. You should always take great care to keep your passwords and personal information secure – play your cards close to your chest and don’t make it easy for internet thieves to steal your data or break into your account.
We have informed Facebook’s real security team about this attack, and hopefully they will shut it down soon. In the meantime, don’t click on the links.
If you’re a member of Facebook, and want to keep up-to-date on security issues including social network threats, don’t forget to join the Sophos Facebook page.
Update: Here’s another version of the same scam:
by Graham Cluley on July 3, 2011