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Early Warning – Facebook Virus

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I received a mail from David Green of Switched On IT, that says “Facebook Virus Turns Your Computer into a Zombie”.

Apparently, through the IM (Instant Messaging) portal of Facebook, people are getting messages that go “I have this hilarious video of you dancing. Your face is so red.  You should check it out.”

Now I personally haven’t had that exact message, but I have had plenty of similar ones that also seem to involve me in a video – here’s the thing though – there are no “video’s” of me out there that would have anyone in a state of shock or laughing their rear-ends off, so that raised a very red flag for me and I refrained from the temptation of clicking on that particular button.  Furthermore, it was sent to me by someone who although they are a ‘facebook friend’ (I play zoo, so I have many ‘friends’ who I actually don’t know at all), they are not someone that I have ever met or know in any way other than ‘in passing’ in whatever game it is that we are playing.  How very fortunate for me, that I didn’t click on the link!

You see, by clicking on that particular link (or any similar ones for that matter – either on Facebook or MySpace) you “might have been exposed to the Koobface virus” says the message that David forwarded to me.  Apparently what happens then is that once you have clicked the Koobface virus then prompts you to update your Flash player (that’s the only way you would be able watch the video) and the virus is contained in the flash player file.  What happens then is that “the worms transform victim machines into zombie computers to form botnets.”  Now, I personally have no idea what that means, but it certainly sounds serious.

Kaspersky (which is my anti virus of choice) says that you can ‘usually spot phony e-mails by their titles’ and they found several as examples.  These are (but not limited to) “Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf on the Street” – I know that she is a troubled child, but I can’t see her doing anything like that – or how about “Examiners Caught Downloading Grades From the Internet – You must see it!!! LOL” – that also just doesn’t sound right.  Another easy way to spot a problem is that the spelling is usually very bad – if it looks dodgy then it usually is.

As usual with a little bit of common sense and precaution, you can avoid these things – don’t just be ‘clicking’ on everything that pops up.  Don’t open things from people that you don’t know personally and my personal favorite – if it doesn’t look right then it usually isn’t.