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Tens of thousands of Facebook users have fallen victim to a rogue application which spreads by inviting them to view a video allegedly showing a teacher assaulting a 13-year-old.
Sophos Security senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said in his blog a quick scan of Facebook showed thousands of users were promoting the link on their newsfeeds, encouraging friends and acquaintances to add the application.
A typical message on a feed reads: I am shocked!! The teacher nearly killed this boy. Worldwide scandal.
It also includes a link Facebook users are invited to click on to view a video of the assault.
More than 190,000 people had clicked on the link to the video so far, he said.
Those who follow the link are taken to a page showing a thumbnail of the alleged attack, and told to "Click here, then Allow, to see this shocking video".
Doing so allows the rogue application to gain access to a user's profile and repost the spam message on their wall.
Sophos Security suggested that anyone hit by the scam should check their privacy settings and remove the application from their profile.
They should also delete any posts the spam application put on their newsfeed to prevent others falling victim.
"After all, you don't know what they're going to do next - once they have hundreds of thousands of Facebook users signed-up," Cluley said.
"The next spam they send from your account could be designed to phish your friends' password details or spread malware."