Beware of Facebook Statuses Bearing Free iPhones

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The promise of a free iPhone should always be subject to the skeptical arching of an eyebrow, but Facebook users should be extra cautious over the coming days, as new malware promising free iPhones to those who click on a link is taking the social network by storm.

According to security firm Sophos, numerous Facebook users are allowing rogue applications to install themselves on their profile, in return for a promised free iPhone. Once the application is installed, a status update reading “Just testing Facebook for iPhone out. :P Received my free iPhone today, so happy lol… If anyone else wants one go here…” with a self-propagating link to the malicious app itself is automatically set as their status.

If you’ve fallen for this trick, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a new iPhone,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Then, punctuating every sentence by smashing his fist angrily against the table and screaming “IDIOTS!” he launched on this entertaining (and completely correct) tirade:

“Facebook users need to learn to think before they ‘like’ and ‘share’ suspicious pages on Facebook. Just because something appears on a friend’s wall, it doesn’t mean that it is from a reliable source, and by giving unknown applications access to your Facebook page, you could unknowingly continue to help to spread scams and earn cash for the spammers.”

Until Facebook locks this down, be extra cautious about which apps you allow to have access to your Facebook profile.