Monday, March 30, 2009

FanIQ "social notworking" website uses spam to spread

FanIQ is a social notworking site, a website which makes sure you are not working by throwing ads and useless information at our face about various sports and games and what your friends are doing with them.

In fact, it is not that good compared to the other popular social networking websites like Facebook, Orkut, Hi% or even myspace.

But boasts of lots and lots of users. But are these users fans.

Obviously not. They are poor people who were tricked into signing up ofr this website with the false phishy information that their friend has send them a private message.

And they rummage thorugh your address book, and without explicitly taking your permission, steals your friends' list and spams them all.

And all this they do in your name.

Down with FanIQ and their ilk. Die spammimg website, DIE !!!

They mislead those who click the link by showing a page that looks like an invitation to pass some funny IQ quiz which allows comparing results. It might be tempting for a friend to do so. And again, the page contains the original e-mail address of a person who sent the invitation. Registration is also asking to provide the user’s favorite sport and the sport athlete, which looks exactly like password protection and restore questions at this stage.

Important note, the phrase: “Hey, this quiz was fun – do it so we can compare” looks as though it is the user’s wording. By sending a so-called “private message” and misattributing those words to the person on whose behalf the message has been sent, FanIQ is trying to convince the new member the original user said it. It is obvious misattribution.

Then it asks for your email password !
  • Username field is prefilled with the user Gmail account.
  • Checkbox right under "password" field is set by default.
  • Fine print near the checkbox and on the bottom could easily be overlooked.
  • No additional information is provided on the page regarding how exactly the invitation is implemented. (Looking ahead, FanIQ sends 2 messages on user's behalf to his contacts)
  • Safety note at the bottom states "We will only send invitations to the friends you select". In case you leave "Invite everyone on my contact list" checkbox enabled, no choice will be given.
The “quiz,” which can be found at right bottom corner, is a poll of sorts and nothing close to an “IQ” test.

They spam the user’s entire contact list and then spam their contacts and on and on -- type of viral spamming through social engineering. It is obvious, the site uses spam techniques to make a person believe he/she registers for one thing while he/she is actually fooled to become a source for sending spam to all people on her/his contact list.

After few days, every potential new user who received an initial invitation as part of the spamming, and did not register on that site, will receive another message, a warning, stating: Your private message from "friend" is about to expire.

FanIQ has developed a refined social engineering technique and uses a misleading quiz message to lure people in, then uses the email address book of new registrants to spam all contacts in the address book to gain new members. During registration, FanIQ does not present enough information to the user to inform them that all their contacts will be spammed by filling in their username and password. The emails sent to potential members originate from a trusted source, so these contacts are more likely to follow through with the registration and start the whole spamming process over. You might call this a “viral social engineering” technique.

All those who received spam from FanIQ and who had been victim of identity fraud by FanIQ, please file complaints wherever you can. <- the bad website
Places where u can complain (besides directly to fanIQ

Indian Consumer Complaints Forum

Complaints Board

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