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Security Concerns Raised Over “Be Like Bill” Facebook Meme

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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The “Be Like Bill” meme flooding social network newsfeeds is now being targeted by criminals and scammers

Security experts are warning users to beware of fake Facebook ‘Be Like Bill’ apps, as they can potentially deliver malware or steal personal data.

The stickman figure “Be Like Bill” memes are currently flooding social network feeds and proving to be a popular attraction for Facebook users.

Security Risk

People can create their own “Be Like Bill” memes on the Blobla website without entering any user information or downloading any applications.

BillBut such is the popularity of the opinionated stickman, that now cyber criminals and scammers are creating fake and malicious “Be like Bill” meme Facebook apps and websites.

This is the warning from Online Threat Alerts, which said these false apps and websites are tricking their potential victims into visiting those websites, and installing rogue Facebook applications.

“Users of the meme just enter their first names and gender on the website and Bill will give them advice,” blogged Online Threat Alerts. “Remember, never disclose your full name and other sensitive information on meme generating websites. And, if you are asked to install an app or sign into your Facebook account in order to use a meme, please leave the website.”

It said that the fake and malicious “Be like Bill” meme applications and websites attempt to steal Facebook usernames and passwords, by asking Facebook users sign into their accounts. This prompt often happens despite the user being already signed in (if they have entered the rogue app via Facebook for example).

If the Facebook user does sign in, their account details are collected by the criminals.

“Once the cyber-criminals have received the stolen credentials, they will use it to hijack their potential victims’ Facebook accounts,” it warned. “Facebook users may also be tricked into installing malicious software disguised as “Be like Bill” applications, which will infect their computers with viruses, spyware, Trojan horse or other malware.”

It said that any Facebook users who think they may have installed a fake “Be like Bill” meme Facebook application or visited a fake “Be like Bill” website, and were asked to signed into their Facebook accounts, should change their Facebook passwords immediately and remove Facebook apps from their accounts that they are not familiar with.

Alternatively, they can contact Facebook’s Help Center for advice.

So as on the Graham Cluley website suggested, Facebook users should follow this advice from the popular stickman.

“This is Bill. Bill is on Facebook. Bill sees a ‘Be Like Bill’ meme. Bill doesn’t feel the need to click on the meme because he knows that it could be a fake and try to steal his information. Bill is smart. Be like Bill.”

Facebook Reactions

Earlier this week Facebook said it was rolling out its “Reactions” function to allow users to provide a more nuanced feedback without having to actually write a message or click on the blunt ‘Like’ button when reacting to posts

The new function will allow people to use six different emoticons, namely “Love”, “Haha”, “Yay”, “Wow”, “Sad” and “Angry”. These new emoticons will apparently sit alongside the regular thumbs up as extra options for responding to other people’s posts.

But it seems that there is still no progress on the ‘Dislike’ button.

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