Scam warning: Osama Dead - Censored Video Leaked

Scammers are taking advantage of Osama Bin Laden's death with a new Facebook trick that uses JavaScript.

As already reported earlier this week, scammers immediately began taking advantage of the news that the US recently conducted a raid to kill 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Just like with previous scams, they are leveraging Facebook with sensational headlines to target ignorant victims.

There is, however, a curious new type of scam in addition to the one I already covered. This version says something along the lines of "Watch the Osama Shoot down video" or "Osama Dead - Censored Video Leaked" followed by a link. According to Sophos, it even has the description of "Osama is dead, watch this exclusive CNN video which was censored by Obama Administration due to level of violence, a must watch. Leaked by Wikileaks."

Once again, instead of the supposed shocking video you are instead presented with a survey which you are told you must complete before you can go any further. This is how the scammer earns his or her money: a commission for every survey completed.

Here's where it gets interesting. Instead of asking you to merely Like the page or share the link with your Facebook friends, the scammers trick you into cutting-and-pasting a line of JavaScript into your web browser's address bar. The instructions are as follows:

  1. Press CTRL + C
  2. Press ALT + D
  3. Press CTRL + V
  4. Press Enter
  5. Playing Video

The user does not realize that just like with previous Facebook scams, sharing the link with others just helps spread it further across the social network. As far as they're concerned, they are just following a sequence of instructions and keyboard presses to watch the video.

It's very interesting that scammers have chosen this method of requiring a lot of work on the user's part. On the one hand, it is worrying because the scam is still spreading quickly (it's based off significant news, after all); this means that users are actually following the instructions. On the other hand, it means that Facebook has changed its security features so that at least some types of scams can't spread easily.

In fact, I haven't seen a "likejacking" scam (a play on the term clickjacking, which means prompting a victim to click something while a different action is taken behind the scenes) in quite a while. It would appear that the company has changed how Facebook Likes works to make life more difficult for scammers.

As I've recommended before, if you see a scam like this one, report it. Then go check your own wall to make sure you're not spreading the scam; the sooner you clean it up and unlike the page, the better. You can even contact Facebook Security if you'd like to.

The only official video that has been released in regards to this news is a 9-minute speech by US President Barack Obama, which I've (again) embedded below. If you want more information, you can read the article Osama bin Laden is dead.


You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All