Times Square Video Screen iPhone Hack Is a Hoax
If you've spent more than a few minutes online in the past few days, you've probably seen a YouTube video of a man using his iPhone 4 and a tiny transmitter to take over the gigantic video screens in Times Square.
The video, uploaded on March 13 by the user BITcrash44 and viewed more than 400,000 times, shows a man plugging the transmitter into the iPhone's headphone jack, which sends the phone's recorded video to a device he calls a repeater.
Attaching the repeater into a helium balloon, he makes his iPhone 4 video appear on a massive screen in the heart of Times Square.
It's pretty impressive, and sure to drum up curiosity. The video, however, is a hoax. The 1:59 running time and the professional editing job indicate it might be stealth advertising, and in any case an iPhone's headphone jack transmits only audio, as the security firm Sophos points out.
But as any flavor-of-the-day viral video, the real problem isn't that someone pulled the wool over our collective eyes, but that social networking scammers are more than likely to use this video in the coming days as ammo to trick users into divulging personal information.
Twitter and Facebook, with their short bursts of information and hundreds of millions of active users, are playgrounds for scammers.
In the past few months, dozens of phishing scams have spread like wildfire on both sites, luring in victims by promising everything from a supposed Miley Cyrus sex tape to an alleged video of teen sensation Justin Bieber hitting a girl.
With the growing curiosity about this Times Square hack, it's almost guaranteed that Facebook and Twitter users will see some type of scam involving the widely viewed video. Real or fake, the interest is there, and that's all a scam needs.