From Iceland — Icelanders Plagued By Porn Spam Phishing Attacks On Facebook

Icelanders Plagued By Porn Spam Phishing Attacks On Facebook

Published February 21, 2022

Photo by
Screenshot/Stöð 2

Numerous Icelanders have expressed everything from bemusement to irritation at requests they have received, primarily on Facebook Messenger, from accounts they do not recognise that promise pornographic videos through suspicious links.

We have been having some awful weather here as of late, so we’re specially grateful for our comfy traditional lopapeysa sweaters, the beautiful woolen garments which have been keeping Icelanders warm for generations. They’re available in our shop, and ours are hand-knitted right here in Iceland.

These messages are, more often than not, written in Icelandic but through such obvious and poor machine translations from some other language that they are far from convincing. These are accompanied by mysterious links, some of them to known phishing sites. For the unfamiliar, phishing is the practice of sending a link via email or direct message on social media that, when clicked, will access the user’s personal data for nefarious purposes.

Theo­dór Ragnar Gísla­son, the tech manager at Syndis, told Stöð 2 news that there is most definitely a coordinated attack underway that includes Icelandic targets.

“Although we maybe laugh at these, as these are so ridiculous,” he said. “It’s just annoying. But of course there’s always someone who’s gullible enough to fall for such messages.”

Fortunately, there is a way to prevent getting these messages, on Facebook Messenger at least, once and for all. As detailed in this guide, simply open Messenger on mobile and tap your profile picture in the upper left of the screen. Scroll down and select Privacy, and then Message Delivery. As the goal here is to block message requests from people you do not know, select Others On Facebook and then Don’t Receive Requests.

Barring that, you can also simply never even open message requests at all, and trust that anyone you know who is trying to reach you will find some other avenue to do so.

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