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Czech-language online hoax alleges terrorist attack in Prague in order to steal personal data

29.7.2016 8:10
A Czech-language hoax alleging that a terrorist attack had happened in Prague made the rounds online in July 2016 using this image.
A Czech-language hoax alleging that a terrorist attack had happened in Prague made the rounds online in July 2016 using this image.

A false alarm was spread in the Czech language on Facebook this past Wednesday alleging that a terrorist attack with hundreds of victims had happened in Prague. Thousands of people shared the disinformation on social networks.

After Facebook users clicked on the link included in the message, the rumor spread itself - those targeted received a harmful code that automatically attached the comment „Co se děje?“ ("What's going on?") and mentioned the names of friends of the targeted Facebook user. With the aid of this fake link, the hackers then did their best to steal the login name and password to the targeted person's Facebook profile, fraudulently calling upon the user to re-enter that information.

According to the website hoax.cz, users who opened the link were redirected to a domain called "burundinewsdaily.com", which had been registered just three days previously. The disinformation was spread in several versions on various domains.

Facebook got rid of the hoax rather quickly. Josef Džubák, the administrator of hoax.cz, recently described to the monthly Romano voďi how this fraudulent practice works:  "This is so-called phishing, an effort to tempt Internet users to provide their private information - date of birth, bank accounts numbers, access passwords - so they can be misused."

Džubák recommends taking reasonable precautions when contacting people through the Internet whom you do not already know. He admits that almost anybody can be fooled by such messages, but says the basis for defending oneself online is to verify dubious information with another source instead of blindly sharing it.  

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Hoax, podvod, Romano voďi, Facebook



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