July 21st, 2014, 21:21 PM
MH17: Twitter and Facebook spammers exploit crash
Scammers are using the MH17 disaster in east Ukraine to spread objectionable links, online security experts have warned.
A link to a pornographic website disguised as a video of the Malaysia Airlines crash was posted on a Facebook page dedicated to one victim.
Many tweets have been posted that appeared to report the disaster, but actually included spam links.
One expert said the firms should take more responsibility for removing them.
The chief intelligence officer of anti-spam body Spamhaus, Richard Cox, said that it was common for spammers to exploit anything being discussed by a lot of people online.
"It is a fairly rapid and predictable response by the individuals behind it. They are all to make money. There is no compassion involved," he said.
Mr Cox added that the perpetrators might be using software that could detect what was being posted regularly and repost using the same hashtags.
Liam Sweeney A Facebook apparently dedicated to Liam Sweeney was set up, hosting spam.
A Facebook community page dedicated to Liam Sweeney, one of the 298 people victims, uses his name and picture.
Its sole post is a link entitled: "Video Camera Caught the moment plane MH17 Crash over Ukraine".
However, the link takes users to a pornographic website. Moreover, anyone who clicks on it is then asked to call a phone number in order to verify that they are aged 18 or older.
"Whoever it is now has your caller ID and you could get a lot of nuisance calls," said Mr Cox.
"This is all based on a somewhat tasteless video that probably doesn't exist and is presented in a completely tasteless way."