Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Would you Spot this Malware?

I recently wrote about how social engineering and human nature is used to trick us into downloading files which infiltrate our computers. When I signed on to Facebook today the first thing I noticed was an obviously malware post. I’d like to think all of you would know immediately not to click the this link. I deleted the post so others wouldn't click on it and phoned our young friend who posted it. Not surprisingly she had no idea how it was posted and as I suggested she signed on to change her Facebook password.

Would you have detected this as an obvious scam?


Even I know that Justin Bieber is too young for Miley Cyrus.

As a researcher I clicked on this link to see where it went. So in case you’re curious, here’s what happens. In this case, the service was smart enough to know this link was suspicious. is a service which allows you to create a shortcut of a long url. This is useful if you need to include a web address in a short message like those required on Twitter. Unfortunately, these short addresses don't let you see where a link takes you.


If I was still silly enough to continue the real fun begins with an invitation to share this with all my friends.


If this was really shared by 95,071 friends it’s really scary. I often wonder if someday I won’t need to keep developing my WinPatrol program. I suspect it will be a while until I get to retire.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how everything is so dangerous. That's why I count on you! Thanks for all you do.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Pathogen David said...

Alas, there are tons of facebook scams and such. Quite annoying. And please don't end WinPatrol. It is on of my favorite programs ever, I don't have many issues with malware, but it is awesome for stopping those pesky millions of update programs Adobe, Apple, National Instruments, Sun, etc insist I NEED.

2:50 PM  
Blogger VraiChevalier said...

I wouldn't fall for it, but here I am, a long time Win Patrol Plus user reading "Bits From Bill". I am quite confidant my daughter, grandson, mother-in-law, step-father, etc., etc. would likely fall for such a ruse if it were of a topic they are interested in and appeared to come from someone they know. No amount of admonition from me will prevent them from clicking on links! I don't even have a Facebook account because of all the problems associated with it.

Keep up the good work Bill, and thank you.

P.S. There are ways to see where the shortened URL leads to before clicking on it.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, you is the man. that's why millions of people around the world rely on you & your software. not sure about your avatar foto tho. :) Many thanks for keeping us all clean

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must be too deeply into science and such things, but who ARE those people?

I wouldn't have fallen for that because I would not be interested. If they aren't scientists or involved in computing or research, etc., I seem to develop a blind spot.

See, IQ can save you from a bad site. Geeks aren't all that bad. We have our redeeming values too.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill and All,
I can "Resemble that Comment" about these posts on Facebook. Found many on my own Friends page and have been reporting each one to Facebook Security. In addition, have warned people to the threat of opening such posts/links. My Brother had WinPatrol installed on our Business computer and after setting up my own home computer, first thing, looked up your site and installed this program. My Computer Guy also installed Malwarebytes and along with Avast! they all work together seamlessly! Thanks SO much for having WinPatrol and all you do to help keep us safe! When my little "dog" barks I pay attention!!!

12:25 PM  

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