Today I got an AOL Instant Message from a friend of mine saying
check this out… http://www.wgutv.com/osama_capture.php?pkLn
So I clicked it, and it’s a page that’s made to look generally like a news site, and claims that Osama has been captured. But to read the news, you need to click to install their player. Oddly enough, it didn’t install in Galeon, so I fired up IE and ran it. Something installed, but nothing happened, so I asked my friend what was up.
It turns out, he didn’t send me that note, the app from that page sent it to everyone on his list.
If I’d been running the windows version of the AIM application, it probably would have done the same to me. Go gaim!
So I did a little research on this “application” and it turns out what what’s supposed to get installed is a small Flash game, and while you play, it’s telling all your friends about this cool game.
The game is built by buddylinks.net (note the lack of a traffic driving link). They claim that their game is so popular that they’re getting TONS of email. I would imagine they are. From their site:
“Please understand, our flash games are in no way a virus. We simply combine peer-to-peer, social networking, and instant messaging into one spectacular technology.”
They also claim that your friends will love the “prize” they get when they go get the fun game or funny flash cartoon you sent them.
Furthermore, if you don’t want to be bothered by other people foolish enough to install their software, you can tell them your screenname, and it’ll filter it. Which means
A) they’ll have your screenname
B) they know see EVERY screenname being spammed.
Evil Evil Evil.
Also from their page:
If you have any issues with your BuddyLinks program, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our support staff is standing by, ready to solve your problem free of charge.
BuddyLinks also loves to hear from its users. Whether you’re a premium subscriber or a user of our free tools, BuddyLinks loves your input. Contact us whenever you like.
Go ahead, let them know. Your email address will be kept private. Honest.