Fake Malaysia Airlines MH370 advert shows you shouldn’t rush to believe on the internet

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has understandably perplexed the world.

So it’s no surprise to see internet users fill the gaping void of real information with conspiracy theories, tales of (frankly improbable) cyber hijacks, and the inevitable Facebook video scams.

On Facebook and Twitter some users have, in the absence of real news, shared images of what they believe to be spooky strangely prescient web promotion by Malaysia Airlines.

The advert appears at first glance to foretell the Boeing 777’s dematerialisation with 12 crew members and 227 passengers onboard.

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Potential customers are told to “lose themselves on a journey of epic proportions” and that “wherever they go no one will ever know”.

But look again.

The ad (embedded above, with my annotations) is a fake. That’s not a Boeing 777, it’s an Airbus A380. The difference in the placement of the aircraft’s windows and the number of engines make it obvious to even non-airplane buffs like me.

Here’s the original advert which the fake was based upon.

Quite what kind of cold-hearted person thinks it’s funny to create bogus images or daft videos about the disappearance of flight MH370, when hundreds of people remain distraught about the fate of their loved ones, is beyond me.

Think and check your facts before sharing content online. You might not only be in danger of looking like you’ve been duped, but helping to compound someone’s heartache.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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