What Does Likejacking Mean?

Likejacking is a clickjacking scam perpetrated through Facebook by exploiting the Facebook “Like” button. In likejacking, scammers share a compelling video, image or discount deal by clicking “Like.” This posts the deal on all of the user’s friends’ Facebook feeds, thus spreading the scam. The more people “Like” the post, the more it spreads.


Although the effect of these scams is not clear, some Internet security experts believe that scammers may looking to gain access to a Facebook account, or to users’ personal information.

Techopedia Explains Likejacking

In October 2011, two widespread and very characteristic likejacking scams spread across Facebook like wildfire. The first was a scam targeted toward Canadian Facebook users, which offered them a gift certificate to Tim Hortons, a popular coffee and donut shop. The scam urged Facebook users to click a link and Like the page that appeared. They were then prompted to enter their email and provide other information, ostensibly to receive the gift card. The same scam was then perpetrated a day later offering a $50 Starbucks gift card.

Sophos, a global network of Internet security analysts, looked into the scam and found two key risks for victims:

  • Victims were asked to cut and past an unknown JavaScript code into their browser bars. Executing unknown JavaScript is risky because it could launch a virus on the user’s computer.
  • Victims were asked to provide personally identifying information such as name, address and email address. This could provide the hackers with enough information to perpetrate identity theft, or to hack into a user’s Facebook, email or other accounts.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…