...or phished, or whatever it's called. Yup, got a message in my Facebook inbox from a lovely friend, with a somewhat mysterious title: Look at this. When I opened the message there was a succinct instruction to click on the link given. Nothing else. I wondered why my friend was being so mysterious and, curiosity piqued, clicked on the link which took me to a blank page. Thinking the page hadn't loaded properly I went back and clicked again. Same result.
This morning I got a message from her - sent to all her Facebook contacts, I imagine - advising us that she hadn't sent us the link and that if we got it we shouldn't click on it. She also mentioned that Facebook had frozen her account while advising her to change her password.
Then the messages started coming in from some of my other FB friends: Hi, did you send a link to me? I clicked but nothing happened. One friend did not click because she got a phishing warning. Another friend told me her click opened a window that asked for her e-mail address and password - which she entered!
A flurry of messages followed, all from 'friends', all with the same title and invitation to click. I changed my password, posted a warning on my FB page and sent a warning message to everyone on my list. Then I ran my antivirus and spyware scans, hoping for the best. I had no idea what the hackers would do next so I painstakingly made a list of all my FB friends and their contact info. Wouldn't like to go over there and find everything had disappeared into the cybervoid. Minutes ago another friend - who had gotten the message to go click from 'me' earlier today - let me know that FB had frozen her account as well, pending her changing the password. Interesting, no?
Beware, beware, beware. These villains thrive on the trust we put in our friends. If something with, for example, my son's name in the sender field comes into my inbox, my defenses disappear without my even thinking about it, and I'm clicking away and following instructions before I'm even aware of what I'm doing. Hopefully this episode will serve as a warning to me, and to you. The Internet isn't the fuzzy friendly place we imagine it is sometimes. Let us not fall into complacency.
There's another angle to this. I've been hearing rumors about FB beginning to charge users for the privilege of using their services. Being a great fan of conspiracy theories, I've been wondering if they're engineering this rash of break-ins to convince us that we need a more secure, PAID version of their service? What think you?