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Suspicion: Attempts to Lure Unknowing Fanspo Users to Click Harmful Hyperlinks


I've seen burner accounts for mock leagues and algorithm boost, but I haven't seen something potentially harmful to every fanspo user. However, that has possibly ended today. To explain, lets see two filed cases first to set the stage.

  • Potential luring of clicks to harmful links (filed by ArmChairGM on September 8th, 2022): https://fanspo.com/u/cris2k1zz has made many commments in a similar format, example as followed: "There are many online games that are very entertaining, I often play bubble shooter [bubble shooter becomes a link], this is a fun shooting game to test the intelligence of boys.", formula is 1) many online games yadayada 2) example game with suspicious link attached to text 3) text to lure someone in playing game. I haven't clicked on the link itself for my own safety, but I suspect it's malware.

  • General suspicious user activity (filed by SixersGM on September 10th, 2022): https://fanspo.com/u/gwenhelen93/comments was made 16 hours ago to this filing. All they did was put one comment with a suspicious link attached on this page in the comments https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/ZpGgmmMA2JbpAj/fbl-trade-negotiations-page, no other activity on the account at this time. Here is the comment word for word: "It's an amazing website, really enjoy your articles. Helpful and interesting too. Keep doing this in the future. I will support you spades online [the words "spades online" has a link attached]"

The formula was there to see, someone seems to be trying to lure fanspo users into clicking a potentially harmful link. Since the quantity at the time was small and no one fell for it, I listed this as something to keep a keen eye on. However, on September 20th, a case filed by TheRaptor put the alarm bells on.

For why the alarms went off, the pattern of behavior was evolving and that had to be addressed as soon as possible. The whole situation was fishy, so TheRaptor forwarded the information right to Zach. Within less than a day, a reassuring comment by Zach was sent back.

  • "Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Looks like these accounts are just spamming content. I have removed the posts and banned the accounts. I will continue to look out for posts like these and remove them promptly"

However, this wasn't the end to the situation. Instead, the pressumed entity of the banned accounts digged in and posted even more content similar to before. TheRaptor fowarded the information to me just a few hours into all the posts existence.

After seeing this, it was time for me to investigate deeply into the matter.


Investigation

It's lengthy, prepare yourself for quite the read. Keep in mind at the time of this investiagtion, Zach's comment stating that the accounts were banned was only 9 hours old.


Hyperlinks will be shown visually, here is a example: [phrase]. Everything else about the content presented is unchanged.

Accounts under suspicion

https://fanspo.com/u/cris2k1zz/comments

  • Comment #1: There are many online games that are very entertaining, I often play [bubble shooter], this is a fun shooting game to test the intelligence of boys.

  • Comment #2: The information on the sharing page is really important and necessary for everyone, I often watch for more knowledge, then play [run 3] for fun, this is a fun knockout game should try. test boys' intelligence

  • Comment #1 has a hyperlink attached to "bubble shooter".

  • Comment #2 has a hyperlink attached to "run 3".

  • Word choices and the hyperlink attached are similar to the other suspected attempts via post to lure fanspo users.

  • Both comments were made 24 days ago according to fanspo, the accounts were made 3 weeks ago according to fanspo.

  • The only likes are their own two comments.

  • No follows, followers, post, flames or feedback.

https://fanspo.com/u/gwenhelen93/comments

  • Comment #1: It's an amazing website, really enjoy your articles. Helpful and interesting too. Keep doing this in the future. I will support you [spades online]

  • Comment #1 has a hyperlink attached to "spades online".

  • Word choices and the hyperlink attached are similar to the other suspected attempts via post to lure fanspo users.

  • Comment was made 13 days ago according to fanspo, account was made 2 weeks ago according to fanspo.

  • Likes their one comment, nothing else is liked.

  • No follows, post, feedback or followers.

https://fanspo.com/u/rossieeshepard/comments

  • Comment #1: It's easy to use

  • Comment #2: This is interesting

  • Comment #3: This is exactly why I came here

  • Comment #4: Amazing

  • No comment has a hyperlink attached, but all are made on the account's own post.

  • All account post were made presumably right after they made their account. 8 hours ago at this time account was made, all post are also made 8 hours ago.

  • Each comment was likely made right after the post they're associated with. I suspect this given the pattern of likes.

  • Likes consist of nothing but their own comments and post.

  • No follows, followers or flames.

  • Feedback includes their own comments. Along with that, a comment made by u/heatlifer saying "bruh" also is in the feedback.

https://fanspo.com/u/madilynrath22

  • No comments, follows, followers, flames or feedback.

  • At this time, 7 Hours ago their account was made and 7 hours ago their one post was made.

  • The one like is made by their own account's post.

https://fanspo.com/u/catherinestrosi

  • No comments, follows, feedback or flames.

  • At this time, 8 Hours ago their account was made and 8 hours ago all three of their post was made.

  • u/cantstopthis follows this account.

  • Likes are made on all their post, nothing else is liked.


Posts made under suspicion

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/QbkIS8ajeHzi7_/heardle-game-brain-game

Heardle Game features a well-known song system and a variety of genres, from classical to modern. Additionally, the songs that play in this game are logically constructed and most of them include a variety of rhythms, from soothing to exhilarating, to prevent monotony. Show that you can win by skill, not luck, if you enjoy music and have a large and varied personal music collection.

You can use appealing visual cues in this game in addition to listening to each song to make your guesses. You can play [heardle game] with friends and coworkers to make it more challenging.

How to play

If you've never played Heardle Game before, don't panic. Here are some simple guidelines to help you get started:

You'll hear the opening second of a rather well-known song when the game begins. Next, if you already know the answer, guess the name of the artist and the song's title; otherwise, skip your round. You will hear a little more of the song's melody when you skip or make a bad guess. The last guess plays the entire 16 seconds of the quiz's tune, and the game continues until the sixth try.

  • Post made by u/rossieeshepar, the first of four post made.

  • Hyperlink is attached to "heardle game" in the 2nd paragraph on the last sentence.

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

  • Two comments: Amazing by u/rossieeshepar and the other by u/heatlifer saying "bruh".

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/AYfTtmLQ5OggyD/drift-boss-driving-game

One of our top driving games, Drift Boss, is completely free to play. Let's now cross the never-ending street and become the final victor! These games were initially simple affairs in which the player had to keep his fingertip in touch with the screen in order to go forward. However, as a result of this growing popularity, Drift games are becoming more complex, and players must be more vigilant and responsive. in order to be successful—not just in terms of how long they can sit still in front of a screen, but also in terms of how predictable their course of action is. Thus, maintaining a constant tempo while playing [drift boss] game is just as crucial as having longer control times. Drift is no longer a basic game that anyone can play; it is become incredibly difficult.

Ways to play

Not only must you drive closer to the finish line than your opponent to win this game, but you must also show inventiveness in your performance. You believe that playing racing games is as easy as competing against other drivers in a race; the winner is the fastest, correct? However, the player's automobile in this game will drift on the road, but there will be corners to negotiate. Players will need to replay the game numerous times in order to learn how to easily master it. Tips & Tricks for Drift Boss

First of all, if you don't succeed right away, don't give up. To become a master at drifting around bends, each player needs put forth a lot of effort. If you're new to drifting and driving, start with the simpler stages, and try to avoid becoming upset at the car in front of you. Players should just keep attempting until they have a better understanding of how to navigate the track. Sometimes playing with friends can be advantageous because they can act as goals and provide a distraction from your frustrations.

  • Post made by u/rossieeshepar, the second of four post made.

  • Hyperlink is attached to "drift boss" in the 1st paragraph on the 2nd to last sentence.

  • One comment on the post by u/rossieeshepar saying "This is exactly why I came here".

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/AAtAX4m0KNavOn/blockpost-3d-graphics-design

The most recent free-to-play first-person shooter game that can be played on both mobile devices and desktop PCs is [blockpost]. This game is a superb illustration of how cubic 3D game graphics and first-person shooter (FPS) gameplay can coexist seamlessly.

With gamers from around the world, you will participate in fierce online firefights. Blockpost has seven different game types and more than twenty different maps to select from, so you'll never get tired choosing your weapon and starting the combat. You will also have the chance to unlock and upgrade more than a hundred different kinds of weaponry.

Your leveling up and access to more weapons and goods happens more quickly the more you play. A wonderful approach to improve your chances of winning is to invite your friends to join you in the pleasure of this game.

  • Post made by u/rossieeshepar, the third of four post made.

  • Hyperlink attached to "blockpost" in the 1st paragraph on the 1st sentence.

  • One comment on the post by u/rossieeshepar saying "This is interesting".

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/egS8yGOueVn104/useful-tool-study-language

Each language learner will surely employ a unique system for memorizing word forms, retaining their meanings, and recalling how to use words. Depending on the context, each word will have a specific appropriate interpretation. Simple support techniques that can be used on internet-connected gadgets are being developed as technology advances. To make it simpler to meet the diverse needs of each user, the company's founder develops a variety of support solutions. Therefore, this is the reason [words from letters] exists.

Rearranging an existing term can occasionally result in the creation of a new one. People can comprehend language in this way by applying rational mental processes. Before there were instruments, writing on paper was frequently the only way to swiftly rearrange into new words. However, ever since Words From Letters has grown, it has supported and provided a variety of words for each individual. This application provides you with word recommendations that you might not have seen before.

This tool will be of great use to you because it not only helps you increase your vocabulary but also your mental capacity. You must ask yourself, "How can I use these letters to create words?" in addition to "How many words can I create with these letters?" Using Words From Letters to boost learning effectiveness can be advantageous in any situation. How to apply

Given how simple it is to use, using Words From Letters for the first time won't be a difficulty. Then click Unscramble it. Type the jumbled, nonsensical characters you are having trouble typing into the input box. The outcomes will be quickly filtered and presented to you.

  • Post made by u/rossieeshepar, the forth of four post made.

  • Hyperlink attached to "from letters exist" in the 1st paragraph on the last sentence.

  • One comment on the post by u/rossieeshepar saying "It's easy to use".

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/I-Mc1-goVIZ1n6/drift-boss

We're glad you're here at [drift boss], a fun and difficult online racing game that also tests the player's logical thinking. With precise time, the players maneuver an automobile through an unending, winding road while avoiding falling into the outer emptiness.

  • Post made by u/madilynrath22, this is their only post.

  • Hyperlink attached to "drift boss" in the 1st sentence.

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/Om4mu37oUq60PM/gartic-phone

Join Teen Librarians for an entertaining game of [gartic phone]! Participants must label and draw what they believe to be what they are seeing, just like in the game of telephone. Participants will receive a link to Zoom. On a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the players will require an additional web browser for drawing. It's okay to use styluses!

  • Post made by u/catherinestrosi, the first of three post.

  • Hyperlink attached to "gartic phone" in the 1st sentence.

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/KFXDw_OUDCIfws/geometry-dash

[geometry dash] is a fantastic game all around, but the creators probably won't see this. The full version includes levels like fingerdash and deadlocked, in addition to the standard levels that are available in the free version. And there are a lot more. The only thing I have to say is that it seems difficult to move on to the higher, meant to be easier, and harder levels after beating levels like clutterfunk and all of the free levels. Regardless of whether the level you are playing on is even an absurd level. corresponding to blast processing and geometric dominator. When moving from clutterfunk to one of the two levels, those are not considered insane, but they are challenging to finish. Additionally, Electrodynamix ought to be given a demon level. The last point is that some of the coins ought to be a little simpler to obtain. Okay, this is undoubtedly my final gripe. The only two methods to obtain orbs in a day are to open chests or advance further than ever on a level while achieving a high score. I badly need orbs to buy things from the shop. I've previously completed all of the daily and free levels. Furthermore, I am unable to accomplish any of the new levels or the weekly levels. The gauntlets typically require a lot of work and don't yield a lot of orbs. You should include a new, simpler method to obtain orbs. Amazing game Robtop overall though."

  • Post made by u/catherinestrosi, the second of three post.

  • Hyperlink attached to "geometry dash" in the 1st sentence.

  • u/cantstopthis liked and flamed this post. Two other likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown. Logs of questions regarding why u/cantstopthis did what they did is provided with the following fanspo link: https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/-noYfsQ_8LnyB9/logs-of-questioning-with-ucantstopthis.

  • The quote is a bit oddly placed, what are they quoting exactly?

https://fanspo.com/nba/s/general/p/-92710jI4r0mGw/basketball-stars

"You may play [basketball stars] online and for free. It's a fun basketball game for two players that features all the great stars. You can watch some 1 against. 1 or 2 vs. 2 bouts with the return of the big-headed, humorous sports heroes. Choose a team and a player, try to outscore your opponent before the game is over, and win every game. Either you or a friend using the same computer can compete against the computer's clever AI. Play a fast match, begin your training, or enter a competition, and then use various unique skills to lead your team to victory!

You can delightfully develop into the world's greatest dribble champion with Basketball Stars' assistance. Grab a ball for yourself, pass it to a teammate, and make layups one after the other. The amusing component of this amazing sports game will be catered for by your unusual participants. Otherwise, your players will start crying if you allow your opponent to score. Therefore, why are you still waiting? Have fun with Basketball Stars!"

  • Post made by u/catherinestrosi, the third of three post.

  • Hyperlink attached to "basketball stars" in the 1st sentence of the 1st paragraph.

  • Two likes made for post, one by the account that made it and the other is currently unknown.

  • The quotes are a bit oddly placed, what are they quoting exactly?


Findings

  • Wording and what is being advertised is similar in all of the content.

  • All of them have suspicious links attached to words that the unknowing Fanspo user might find enticing.

  • The potential for content to be a copy+paste is likely. Reasoning behind this thought is the quotation marks that seem quite out of place and repeat games (drift boss).

  • Likely more accounts that are being used in this potential scheme since there are likes on each post that are unconfirmed at this time.

To make sure fanspo users are safe, any content that's simlar to what was presented in the investigation must be directed to Zach. Don't click on the hyperlinks either, they're likely of malicious intent, just copy+paste the fanspo URL. If the user of the accounts that have spammed this content beg to differ, they can present their claim in the comments. However, with the information at hand, I suspect that whoever is using these accounts is attempting to install malware via hyperlink clicks.


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