As Apple released OS X El Capitan and Amazon announced it will stop selling competing video products such as the Chromecast and Apple TV, Facebook was inundated once more by the usual hoaxes. Also last week, we learnt about the most hated social network to date and discovered a new form of vigilante malware. Read more in our Monday Tech Roundup below.
Peeple lets you rate others – what could possibly go wrong?
As if Yelp – with all its fake negative reviews – wasn’t bad enough, now comes Peeple, a website which lets you rate people.
While Yelp is pretty wide open allowing for anonymous reviews, Peeple requires that you have the cell phone number of the person you are rating. Before the review is posted, the reviewee gets a copy and has two days to settle the issue, and if that is a no can do, the reviewee can post a comment. Peeple claims users will have to use their real names, but it’s not hard to find a few ways to get around this. Another safeguard is that in order to start receiving reviews you have to opt-in, but once registered you can’t opt-out and if you are the subject of a negative review, that item remains on the site for a full year. No wonder Peeple has already received the tagline of the most hated social network.
Facebook hoaxes won’t go away
Over the last two weeks dozens have posted that either Facebook was going to charge for private profiles, or that Facebook would soon own all the copyrights to whatever you post.
Of course, neither are true, but that hasn’t stopped these hoaxes from being posted, liked and shared, so many times! They just won’t go away.
The privacy message goes something like this:
“Now it’s official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to ‘private.’ If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.”
These hoaxes are nothing new for Facebook, and like with others, Facebook is publicly denying that they are true. “While there may be water on Mars, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet today. Facebook is free and it always will be,” the company said with a clever wink towards the latest NASA discovery. “And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!” the company wrote.
Malware with a heart of gold?
A new piece of malware is making the rounds, and it probably would be more appropriate to call it ‘goodware.’
Linux.Wifatch installs itself on a wireless router, forces the owner to install or change the password, and then tries to delete various forms of spyware and viruses. It’s the Batman of malware!
While this sounds great, the software is still interfering with your machine and router – and it’s doing so without your permission.
The malware has been around since last year, but it’s just now getting more attention. The software spreads to routers and even Internet of Things (IoT) devices using peer-to-peer techniques – an effective approach for IoT devices.
While the malware seems relatively safe for now, the source code is available and hackers could modify it into something that could exploit backdoors to perform all sorts of nefarious deeds. If you do get this infection on your router and don’t want any part of it, you can perform a quick reset and it will go away – and hopefully not come back.