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Who’s checking your Facebook profile? You’ll never know

Security expert warns that apps promising to reveal who views your profile are a scam

One version of the app creates a photo montage of all the infected user’s friends, tagged so that they all receive notifications.
One version of the app creates a photo montage of all the infected user’s friends, tagged so that they all receive notifications.

Facebook applications that promise to reveal who views your profile the most are all a scam, warns security expert Rik Ferguson from Trend Micro.

These fraudulent apps, with names such as ‘stalk my profile', 'profile check online' and ‘who has seen your profile the MOST?', are designed to generate advertising revenue for scammers. Twenty five such applications were identified on March 14th, but Ferguson says the number has already increased since then.  

"The app itself is designed to look convincing enough, but none of the many ‘Continue' buttons it offers will activate some under-the-counter profile checking functionality, they will just push you into another Facebook app earning the scammer advertising revenue in the process....There is no officially sanctioned Facebook functionality that will allow you to view who has been checking your profile," he says.

Users might notice wall posts or receive notifications from their friends that have unwittingly fallen victims themselves, encouraging them to install the rogue app, along with false assurances of its reliability. At least one version of the rogue app will create a photo montage of the entire infected user's friends, tag it so that they all receive notifications, and then post the photo.

Facebook is working on removing the offending apps, but users are advised to ignore notifications and not click on the application's links in the meantime.

Rogue Facebook applications have been identified since February last year and Ferguson is calling for the company to review their third-party application publishing policy that, at present, allows anyone to create applications. Once developed and published, Facebook staff then have to work to stamp out scammers' applications. Instead, he argues, it should work in reverse.

"There's nothing to stop rogue apps from happening again and again. Facebook needs higher levels of verification and control for their applications, which would be beneficial to users, advertisers and Facebook staff as well," adds Ferguson.

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