LinkedIn called out for “turning a blind eye” to fake celeb profiles

The Trend Micro blog writes that their are numerous fake celeb profiles on LinkedIn which contain links to malware. Bogus profiles of Beyonce Knowles, Kate Hudson, Salma Hayek, and others contain “tempting” links to see these stars naked. Once a user clicks on the link “he will end up on different malicious Web sites trying the classical social-engineering tricks of either the ‘missing video codec’ or of showing a fake AV scan and telling the user (that) his computer was infected with malware and offering a ‘free’ AV scanner software, which in fact is the real threat,” says the McAfee blog. See the following screen shot:

It appears that LinkedIn has been working to take down most of these bogus profiles since it was called out by Trend Micro on Monday (1/5/09). (If you go Google “Salma Hayek LinkedIn” you will see that the page did exist but is no longer available.) Good move as this kind of activity by spammers, malware authors, and other cybercriminals raises many legal issues including social media cybersquatting and possible defamation and trademark claims.

2 thoughts on “LinkedIn called out for “turning a blind eye” to fake celeb profiles

  1. George McMahon says:

    Just found this guy cybersquatting on twitter ( @bryanelliott1). He registered DisneyOnline and NBC_Universal. Isn’t this criminal?

  2. David Mink says:

    @George – I don’t practice criminal law, so I am not sure what the charge would be. However, it is most likely a trademark infringement and one that you could bring to the attention of either Disney or NBC.

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