Thursday, January 22, 2009

Koobface : Social Network Virus

To anyone on Facebook or MySpace or, for that matter, any other social network, you should be aware that there is a Trojan worm making the rounds of those various sites. Called Koobface, the virus spreads by having unsuspecting users log into their accounts and click on links posted in comments that are seemingly left by friends.

The links take you to an spoofed page that pretends to offer a video download from YouTube and then states that you have to update your Flash player to view the video. Clicking on that link infects your machine. Once a computer has become infected with the Koobface worm, it spams the friends belonging to the owner of the computer by leaving comments on their profiles. And so on and so on. Here is Kaspersky Lab's details on the worm.

The virus is spreading in part because we don't always have our guard up when it comes to our social networks. By now, we already know not to click on unknown links in unwanted email. But, on a social network because you believe the comment was left by someone you know, you have no reason to suspicious and not click on the link.

So what to do? If you think your social network account has recently been used to send spam, reset your password. If you have anti-virus software on your computer, keep the definitions up-to-date and be sure to run the software often. If you don't have the software on your computer, there are some free, on-line virus scanners you can use to detect any viruses or spyware: Kaspersky, Symantec's Norton Security Scan and McAfee's Free Scan.

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