Cybercriminals have stooped to a new low by using a photograph depicting a crashed plane and claiming that it is the missing Malaysia MH370 plane. This photo is actually a picture of a 2013 plane crash of a Lion Air aircraft, however, the misleading caption states that it is the MH370 , discovered in the Bermuda Triangle, with all 239 passengers safe and sound.
Photo And Caption Is A Cruel Hoax That Poses A Security Risk
The actual Lion Air crash photo which occurred near Bali in 2013: Cybercriminals had used this to mislead users as the missing MH370
Not only is this a cruel hoax that further torments the family and friends of the loved ones who are aboard the plane, it also happens to be a widespread social media hoax that is tricking users into clicking a link that supposedly leads readers to the picture and story, but instead takes them to a site filled with malware. Trend Micro, a security firm, warns users that this page and others like it may contain hidden files that collect users’ data and that can easily infect a mobile device or computer.
Cybercriminals have taken unfair advantage of the situation and public interest in it, and computer security experts claim that it was simply a matter of time before they turned this type of situation around to their advantage.
How The Scam Is Working On Facebook And Other Social Media Sites
Users of Facebook and other social media sites should steer clear of any links that claim that the plane and passengers have been found , or those that make claims about the “miracle” of the plane being found that state that the news was released on CNN. This is false and misleading information that is being used to get people to click on the link that leads to malware. Some of the suspicious pages even ask for users to “share” the link before they can view a supposed video, which is the cybercriminal’s way of spreading the link and the malware. Some pages will ask users to verify their age by completing a test after they share the link. This turns out to be just a survey scam and another annoyance to readers.
Thousands Of Social Media Users Duped
It is thought that thousands of users of Facebook and other social media sites have been lured in by the photograph and eye catching headline. The plane depicted in the photograph is actually that of a Lion Air craft that crashed into the ocean after an attempt to land from Ngurah Rai airport. All 108 passengers survived the crash that occurred off the Bali coast.
As of this date, the Malaysian government has announced that based on the latest satellite data, they have concluded that flight MH370 has crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean. Despite that, no confirmed related debris was found and no photo evidence to prove that this was the case. What they’ve said is that the flight is lost “beyond reasonable doubt”.
Meanwhile, be wary of any misleading information that may put your computer or mobile device at risk.
[Images via HuffingtonPost]