SAN FRANCISCO - An app that's been reported in Asia says it will change the color of Facebook profiles from the default blue.
The app, which doesn't appear to have gotten much traction among users, is a scam. It allows hackers to gain access to the user's profile and spam their friends.
Multiple Facebook color change scams have been reported over the years. This one has been dubbed the "Facebook Color Changer."
It takes users to a malicious phishing site that asks them to watch a tutorial video, says Hugh Thompson, a security expert with the computer security company Blue Coat in Sunnyvale, Calif.
When users click the video link, they allow the site to implant viruses and malicious code (malware) on their computers.
If the user doesn't view the video, the site instead attempts to download a pornography video player if they're on a PC, according to Cheetah Mobile Security, a Chinese security company that reported the scam in a blog post last week.
Users on Android devices get a warning that their device is infected with a virus and advising them to download an app, which is of course also malware, to clean it, Cheetah said.
Facebook says it hasn't gotten many reports on this one and that it doesn't appear to have spread very widely.
"We work quickly to block these scams by disabling apps and using a combination of automated systems to stop links from spreading on our platform. We warn against false color change apps and offer free software from anti-virus partners to help remove malware from people's computers," a spokesman for Facebook said via email.
Facebook has information about how to avoid scams such as this one on its security page. It also offers information about free antivirus programs.
Similar scams, perpetrated by other hackers, have been making the rounds for year.
Security experts advise users to immediately change their password and then delete the app by going to Facebook settings if they've fallen victim to this scam.