Beware of ChatSend App on Facebook

If you are one of those users on Facebook who have downloaded the ChatSend  application, you may notice that the application has been acting shady of late.  The application has been linked to spammy Facebook message and is enticing Facebook users into installing the application that inaptly  advertises itself.

What is ChatSend Application?

According ChatSend, the application –

…creates advanced, innovative technologies to efficiently deliver large files across the Internet. Our innovative clientless peer to peer file sending platform, enable us to virtually send files without having the cost of heavy infrastructure, thus we provide the service for FREE .

Now, according to a report by GFI Labs, messages that link to ChatSend’s Facebook page started to appear on Facebook users’ inbox, which were posted without the user’s knowledge. The application not only posted a message, but also sent the same message via Facebook chat (if enabled) to all users in the list.

ChatSend Messages

Although the Facebook Security team has blocked the ChatSend” app, it is reported that the app is still promoting itself among friends of users who had installed it.

The app download link has been spreading in a way similar to how scam messages spread – by sharing or “liking” the post. It was noted that the app had received more than 134,000 likes. The message contains a link to download the ChatSend application and upon installing the app on the user’s computer, it may lead to installing a browser toolbar for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer that will set the default search engine to “Web Search.”

ChatSend Installation

While installing the app, you will notice under the Terms and Agreements, three boxes which are already checked by default, each of them validating the installation of toolbars, search engines and predefined URLs as homepage. Once the installation is done, the app starts sending automated messages to your friends on Facebook, each of which contains a unique link pointing to the download site.

If in case you have installed this application by mistake, you can remove it from the Add/Remove Programssection of the Control Panel. Also, it is recommended that you run a full system anti-virus scan, just to make sure that there no Trojans or any the malicious programs installed. If you  receive  any message  related  to ChatSend, then DO NOT click on any links provided in the message and be sure to delete it immediately.

It is always advised that you avoid clicking links on Facebook, which may cause a potential threat your Facebook account or your system. If in case you really want to click on a link or try out some new programs, then make sure that you have read enough reviews about it before installing it on your computer.

Read:  How to Avoid Facebook LikeJacking Scams

Google Starts Indexing Facebook Comments

Facebook launched the commenting system for websites and blogs few months back, which allows websites owners to add a commenting system to their blog posts. This enables Facebook users to post comments on blogs and website using their Facebook account.

Similar third-party comment management systems, like Disqus and IntenseDebate make it easier for visitors to post their comments and point-of-view. However, these commenting engines are implemented in JavaScript and hence comments may not be indexed by search engine sites.

According to Digital Inspiration, it is now known that comments added using the Facebook commenting system or equivalent services are searchable, giving website owners the additional SEO juice from the added content, which could play an important role in a website’s search ranking.

Googlebots, or the spiders that crawl web pages, are now reading Facebook comments on websites just like any other text content and the more interesting part is that you can also search the text of these comments using regular Google search.

This means that – just like the web content, the comments on your blog/website will be indexed by Google. Queries like “commenter name and commenter title” will display all the comments the commenter may have written on different websites using Facebook or Disqus comments or other services.

This comment by Robert Scoble posted on a TechCrunch page using the Facebook comments system appears to be indexed on Google –

Google Indexes Facebook Comments

Well, the same was confirmed by Google’s Matt Cutts in a tweet – “Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/JavaScript to index some dynamic comments.”

Although this may help blogs and website to rank better, the owner of the site must be extra careful and must consider moderating comments before they are published. Since comments will now be considered as a part of the content, website owners must take care of foul language, spam, hate speech or the like, which would directly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This might negatively affect the site’s search ranking.

Prior to this Google’s tweak, Facebook gave website owners an option to pull comments using the Facebook Graph API and render them in the body of the blog post behind the comments box. This, on the other hand, resulted in the creation of a WordPress plugin – “SEO Facebook Comment” which inserts all Facebook comments in your WordPress Database based on the Open Graph Tags.

Many website owners avoided the use of Facebook Comment Box because of the SEO factor, however, after this little “tweak”, I’m sure they will reconsider their decision.

How to Add Facebook Comment Box?

Adding a Facebook Comment Box is pretty easy. Just head to the Facebook’s Social Plugin page and provide the URL of your site. Enter the number of posts to display and the width of the comment box. Once done, hit the “Get Code” button. Copy the generated code and place it appropriately on your website.

Facebook Comment Box

You can also moderate comments, blacklist words and ban users. To moderate the comments, you need to list yourself as an admin. To do this, simply include open graph Meta tags on the URL specified as the href parameter of the plugin.

<meta property="fb:admins" content="{YOUR_FACEBOOK_USER_ID}"/>

You can moderate all comments at


Timestamp Your Facebook Updates – New Facebook Feature

Now travel back in time, even before the inception of Facebook. The new feature rolled out by Facebook, allows you to add a timestamp with a past date to your status updates and photos. This is mainly done to fill in those blank spaces on your Timeline as you update status messages about your events and occasions in the past.

When you are updating your status, you will notice a small clock icon at the bottom-left corner of the update box. Clicking it will first let you enter the year, followed by the month and then the date. You can also add the person who you were with, or share the location if you remember it. However, this will not allow you to schedule a post for the future.

The feature is available to only those users who have installed the Developer application. If you haven’t installed it yet, here’s a post which will help you Enable the Facebook Timeline

Here’s an update that I posted with a timestamp –

Timestamp - Facebook Update

The Timeline is basically intended to act as a visual representation of your life and the events surrounding it. With new feature rolling out slowly, Facebook is hoping its users will share more information on its platform. With Timeline, Facebook urges you to share more personal content, and make sure that the information shared is more social than it was on your old Facebook profile.

Facebook had scheduled to roll out the Timeline feature on September 22, but it was pushed back after a trademark lawsuit over the word timelinewas filed by   Now, the Timeline is expected to go live on Monday, November 7, 2011.

Codecademy – A Fun Way to Learn Programming

Learning programming through books has never been an easy task and it’s quite frustrating to learn it when you don’t tend to understand the logic. At least for a beginner it’s a heck of a job. Although having gone through several resources like, video tutorials, bookmarking online tutorials, and so on, but for some reason, you still don’t get a hang of it.

It was the same case with Zach and Ryan who were frustrated with learning how to program, and ultimately came up with an interactive way to learn programming by actually coding. They teamed up to create Codecademy, a web-based interactive programming tutorial that enables you to learn, and walks you through the basics of JavaScript.

Codecademy launched back in August 2011 and drew a whopping 250,000 visitors in its first four days and a total number of 2.1 million exercises were completed. The site teaches coding from the very basics, like declaring variables, and go as far as ‘While’ loops.

When you visit you will be prompted to complete the first lesson, which involves printing your name and finding the length (number of letters) of your name. However, as you progress, you will have to set up an account in order to save your progress and continue with the tutorials.

Codecademy - A Fun Way to Learn How to Program

The lessons are pretty straightforward and can be easily understood. It has a sidebar on the left hand of the screen, which will instruct you to perform a task. On the right, you will have a terminal where you need to enter the code and execute the same. The site interactively responds to whatever you code, be it correct or incorrect, or may prompt you to reuse something you have learned in a previous lesson, thus making you feel interested in learning and accomplishing the task.

Another interesting catch is that as you progress through the lessons, you will start to earn some points, badges and trophies. This is something which will motivate you to perform more operations and mostly without any mistakes.

Codecademy - Achievements

Go ahead, give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love it!

I just gave it a try and completed a few lessons in no time. It’s that easy –

Course Progress

Codecademy does have some pretty good investors, including Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Social+Capital Partnership, Thrive Capital, Crunch Fund, Collaborative Fund, Founder Collective, Joshua Schacter, Vivi Nevo, Naval Ravikant, and several others. Few days back, the company announced that it has managed to raise $2.5 million in funds, led by Union Square Ventures, which has allowed Codecademy to expand its operations to more countries with more manpower.

They have also launched  their  first user generated course, created by – Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures, who is the author of “Functions in JavaScript,”.

Mozilla Firefox Gets Bing’ed – Microsoft Introduces Firefox with Bing

There had been some speculation earlier that Firefox was going to dump Google search  as its default search engine and replace it with Microsoft’s Bing, since Google came out with its own browser, Chrome. However, the Mozilla team immediately clarified stating that the default search will remain Google powered, but will add Bing to the pre-existing list of search services likes Wikipedia, Amazon, Yahoo and others.

Yet, Microsoft  wasn’t  pleased about it, and were looking forward for an alternative. In a blog post, Microsoft announced that it has teamed up with the Mozilla team to release a new version of Firefox with Bing, which includes Bing as the default search engine. Well, don’t get too excited about that. This will be released as a separate version along with the default version which is powered by Google search.

Firefox With Bing

It’s just that there are two same versions of Firefox with a different search provider. In other words, Firefox with Bing is exactly the same as normal Firefox. The new version will receive security and version updates at the same time as the normal Firefox.

According to the Bing team, the Bing powered version of Firefox has something called “AwesomeBar” – where you can type in URLs (Web addresses) as well as search queries. Perhaps Microsoft wasn’t aware of it that this feature has been already available in the previous versions of Firefox and is also available in every other browser. Needless to say, Microsoft has always been into this – replicating ideas and giving it another name.

Something to note – In November 2011, Mozilla’s contract with Google will expire. However, we aren’t sure if the contract will be renewed or Mozilla is just going to dump Google. Or it could be the other way round also.

For Mozilla, the partnership with Microsoft is certainly a good deal. Firefox is still the most popular browser, however stats indicate that it is slightly declining month-by-month, but on the other hand, Google’s Chrome is gaining popularity progressively. This, however, makes me think that Google might not be interested in renewing their contract with Firefox.

Also Read:  Why Is Chrome Winning And Firefox Losing Market Share?

2011 Browser Statistics

Did you know? Google Chrome has been the most used browser on Techie Buzz

Sebastian Anthony from Extreme Tech explained how browsers make money, and Firefox being the most popular browser, generated 97 percent ($104 million) of its revenue from royalties paid from the Firefox search box, out of which 86 percent ($85 million) came from Google alone. Now, if Google does not renew its contract with Firefox, then it could be a direct challenge for Microsoft’s Bing as well as for Firefox in the browser wars.

You can download Firefox with Bing from

[Statistics via]

Take the Free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card Survey – Facebook Scam

A new  scam  is underway on  Facebook  with the title – Take the Free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card Survey! [link], tricking users to click on the link and take an online survey in order to receive a free gift card. The scam also asks users to share the message with their friends in order to qualify for the prize, and that’s how the scam is being spread on the social network.

Take the Free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card Survey! - Facebook Scam

The scam message comes with a description that reads Get A Free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card. By looking at the title of the scam message, we observe that you are asked to complete an online survey. Please be cautious that this is a scam and there is no such gift cards given away for free even after you have honestly completed the survey.

Clicking the scam link will take you to the following web page

Get A Free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card - Facebook Scam

There are questions which you are asked to answer. After you have answered the questions, you will be redirected to another web page where you will be asked to answer another set of online surveys.

Please don’t get tricked by the web page and DO NOT complete any surveys. In the online survey you will be asked to answer a set of questions, after which you need to enter your personal information as well as financial details like credit card number or bank account number. Entering these details will pose serious threats to your accounts, so please avoid entering your credentials.

Sometimes it may result in downloading malware programs or other malicious files, which could possibly harm your computer. These files are programmed in a way to steal your personal and confidential information without your knowledge.

It is recommended that you DO NOT click on such links or  scam messages  on Facebook. If you come across this scam message, please delete/remove the scam from your Facebook news feed immediately. Alternately, you can report the scam to  Facebook Security.

With over 800 million users on Facebook, the social networking giant has always been a main target for spreading scams. It is quite difficult to identify scams on Facebook. Here is a post on  How to Identify and Avoid Facebook Scams.

As a precautionary measure, always check which applications you use and remove unwanted or suspicious ones. If you aren’t sure how to do it, you can always check our guide on  removing apps from Facebook. In addition to that, don’t forget to check out our article about  Avoiding Facebook Lifejacking and Clickjacking scams.

Bookmark  Techie Buzz Facebook Scams. We always keep you updated with the  latest scams spreading on Facebook.

Recently Reported Facebook Scams/Spam » (Read All)


Facebook .exe Attachment Vulnerability Found

Uploading .exe files is generally not allowed on most online services like Gmail and Facebook. However, a vulnerability found in Facebook lets you attach .exe files and send them across to your friends and other people.

The bug was first identified by Nathan Power, a senior security penetration tester at technology consultancy CDW, which he posted about the issue in a blog post.Facebook Security

Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Messages last year in November, which enabled every user to create a email address. This also allowed users to upload attachments like images and document files, but did not allow users to attach .exe files. Whenever a user tried to attach an .exe file, Facebook throws the following error message – “You cannot attach files of that type”.

Nathan Power found an alternative way to attach .exe files and surprisingly it worked. When uploading the file to Facebook, he captured the web browser’s POST request, which is as follows –

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="attachment"; filename="cmd.exe"

It was identified that the variable “filename” was being parsed to determine whether the type of file is allowed to be uploaded or not. Power modified the POST request by appending a blank space after the .exe in order to subvert the security mechanism to allow an .exe file type.

The modified line looked like this –

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="attachment"; filename="cmd.exe "

That way, the Facebook messaging system allowed the user to upload a file with .exe extension, thus causing a huge vulnerability in the messaging system. This could be misused by hackers/spammers to send malicious files to any user on Facebook.

Attach .exe Files in Facebook

However, Facebook’s Security Manager Ryan McGeehan stated that in order to execute the file on the receiver’s computer it would require “an additional layer of social engineering.” He also said that webmail providers face the same problem with malicious attachments and that “this finding is a very small part of how we protect against this threat overall.”

Here’s what Ryan McGeeham had to say –

This finding will only allow one user to send an obfuscated renamed file to another Facebook user. The proof of concept, as is, would not execute on a recipients machine without an additional layer of social engineering. Beyond that, we are not going to rely solely on string matching as a protective measure, since zip files and other things could also have unpredictable behaviors when sent as an attachment.

We are AV scanning everything that comes through as a secondary measure, so we have defense in depth for this sort of vector. This puts us at a similar level of protection as most webmail providers who deal with the similar risk, and this finding is a very small part of how we protect against this threat overall. At the end of the day, it is more practical for a bad guy to hide an .exe on a convincing landing page behind a URL shortener, which is something we’ve been dealing with for a while.

That certainly is something very serious as shortened URLs pose larger threat, since users blindly click links on the social network. Users must be very careful about links on Facebook and verify them before clicking or sharing with others.

A precautionary measure that users can follow is to set their privacy setting so they can receive messages from their friends only. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below –

  • Click on Account > Privacy Settings
  • Click “Edit Settings” for “How You Connect”
  • From the pop-up box, change “Who can send you Facebook Messages” to “Friends”

A Google+ user named Sahil Singh checked for the vulnerability with Gmail and was surprised to know that it affects Gmail as well.

Justin Bieber Could Be Jailed for Five Years – That’s What Says

A political website – “”  that launched a campaign in opposition to the U.S. Senate’s proposed “Commercial Felony Streaming Act” or “illegal streaming ” bill, offered a petition to stop the bill from passing, and as a part of the campaign, the site uploaded edited pictures of Justin Bieber behind bars and fake images of him being arrested.

Justin Bieber in Jail - Edited Picture

The organization called Fight For the Future is trying to draw attention to the bill S.978, which was proposed by Amy Klobuchar, Chris Coons, and John Cornyn on May 12, 2011. The bill states that any unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material for the purpose of “commercial advantage or personal financial gain” would be a felony with penalties up to five years in prison.

In simple words, one could be convicted of a felony just for singing copyrighted songs and posting them on  YouTube or elsewhere.

The reason to include Justin Bieber’s name is because Bieber became popular when a viral video of him singing the cover song by the artist Chris Brown – “With You” was posted on YouTube, which gained huge popularity. This directly goes against the bill S.978.

Now, according to the site, if the bill S.978 is passed, Bieber will face the penalty and could be slapped with up to five years of jail time.

Along with the edited and fake images, the site had the following message – “A new bill in Congress makes posting a video containing any copyrighted work a felony– with up to 5 years in prison. But wait… didn’t Justin Bieber get famous by posting YouTube videos of himself singing copyrighted R&B songs? Yep. If this bill passes, he could get 5 years in jail.”

The site has been hugely effective with more than 43,000 people “liking” it on Facebook and has registered over 500,000 petition signatures already. This irked the lawyers of Justin Bieber, and issued a cease and desist letter to the site’s owners, claiming the site violates the pop star’s intellectual property rights and publicity rights.

In response to Bieber’s lawyers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) stated that the legal threat imposed was  entirely  baseless. That being said, the site was protected by the fair use doctrine and deserved most protection of all –

The kind of important political speech that is the core of the Free Bieber campaign deserves the most protection of all, and we are glad that the folks behind it are willing to stand up and defend their right to Free Justin Bieber whether he likes it or not,the EFF said.

It’s pretty illogical of Bieber’s lawyers being bothered about the situation. The only extent they can go up to is striking the Streisand effect, and in the process of taking down the contents of the site, they’re just going to draw more attention to it.

Facebook Adds Two New Security Features – Trusted Friends and Application Passwords

With more than 800 million users, Facebook is taking security seriously, and in an aim to help users protect their accounts, the social networking giant has announced two new security improvements – Trusted Friends and Application Passwords.

When your Facebook account is compromised, the first basic thing the hacker/hijacker does is try changing your account’s password,
Facebook Security so that you don’t regain access to the account. The conventional process of changing password is that you need to enter the old password first and then the new password. Facebook is now looking forward to change this approach.

The Trusted Friends feature lets you choose three to five friends who you really trust. Whenever you or someone else is trying to change your account password, these set of trusted friends will be contacted in order to verify that you are the legitimate account owner. Or if your Facebook account gets locked down, these friends will vouch for you and help you regain access to your account. So, better be careful while choosing your “trusted” friends.

Learn:  How to Prevent Your Facebook Account from Getting Hacked

“It’s sort of similar to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation–pick the friends you most trust in case you need their help in the future,” the company said in a blog post.

To set up Trusted Friends:

  1. Go to your  Security Settings  page (Account > Account Settings > Security)
  2. Click on the  Trusted Friends  section
  3. Click  Choose Trusted Friends
  4. Scroll through your friends or search for specific friends
  5. Select 5 friends and confirm your choices

Note: The feature is currently under testing stage. So, if you don’t see the “Trusted Friends” section, then you got to wait until it’s publicly  available.

Facebook Application Passwords

Facebook implemented a security feature called Login Approvals, which when enabled requires users to enter a security code texted to their phone whenever they login to Facebook or Facebook apps. However, some application like Spotify didn’t properly generate the security code entry dialog, which then denied access to the app.

Read:  Facebook Introduces Sweeping Sharing and Privacy Changes

To overcome this issue, Facebook has announced a new feature call the Application Password. This feature lets you create a unique App Password, and prompts for it whenever you’re trying to access the app. To enable this feature, go to your Facebook Account Settings > Security and click on “Edit” App Passwords. A message box opens up stating that Login Approvals won’t work for apps like Xbox, Spotify, and Skype. Now, click on “Generate App Passwords”.

Facebook Security - App Passwords

On the next screen, you are asked to enter the name of the App (Ex: Skype or iPhone). Facebook will now generate a unique alphanumeric password for the entered app name.

Facebook App Password

“There are tons of applications you can use by logging in with your Facebook credentials. However in some cases you may want to have a unique password for that application,” the blog post says. “This is especially helpful if you have opted into Login Approvals, for which security codes don’t always work when using 3rd party applications.”

The two new security features look promising, and would certainly help users keep hackers and hijackers out of their accounts. However, for an effective use, Facebook should consider running an awareness campaign or release a new version of the Official Guide to Facebook Security document.

Facebook to Build Its First Ever Data Center Outside the U.S. – In Sweden

The social networking giant, Facebook is planning to build a new multi-million ‘mini town’ data center in the northern Swedish town of Lulea – the first outside the US, in order to improve the performance of the European users. It is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe.

“Facebook has more users outside the U.S. than inside,” Facebook director of site operations Tom Furlong told The Associated Press. “It was time for us to expand in Europe.”

It is reported that the social network will build three server halls, occupying an area the size of 11 football fields. The main reason why it is being set up in Lulea is because of the low climatic conditions, which is among the coldest city in Sweden, taking advantage of it to cool thousands of servers. It is also because the city offers low-cost electricity and the high-tech science research at the Lulea Technical University.

Mats Engman, chief executive of the Aurorum Science Park stated – “The climate will allow them to just use only air for cooling the servers. If you take the statistics, the temperature has not been above 30C [86F] for more than 24 hours since 1961. If you take the average temperature, it’s around 2C [35.6F].”

Facebook Director of Operations, Tom Furlong unveils plans for the new facility in Lulea in northern Sweden.
Facebook Director of Operations, Tom Furlong unveils plans for the new facility in Lulea in northern Sweden.

The servers will be powered by renewable sources of electricity generated by dams on the Lulea Reiver. According to The Telegraph, the operation will require as much electricity as a town of 50,000 people, at a cost of roughly $72.3 million per year.

The three server buildings will have an area of 28,000 square meters (300,000 square ft) each, and construction will take place in three phases. The construction of the first server hall starts later this month and the second will be built in 2013. The entire construction of the data center is expected to complete by 2014. The site will need 120 MW of energy, fully derived from hydropower.

Facebook, however, did not reveal the investment details, but according to Associated Press it is indicated that the Lulea officials have previously projected construction costs of up to $760 million. Facebook currently has server farms in Silicon Valley; Ashburn, Virginia; and Prineville, Oregon, as well as another one under construction in Forest City, North Carolina.

Back in 2007, Microsoft was in discussions to build a similar data center in Siberia, but the deal never happened. In 2009, Google bought a deserted paper mill in Southern Finland for approximately €40 million ($51.7 million) to convert it into a data center.

Now that Google and Facebook have server farms, I wonder who is next on the list. Probably, Amazon?