Posted December 5, 2008 2:25 pm by with 24 comments

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Rumors swirled around the Twitterverse yesterday that Facebook had been hacked. McAfee Avert Labs Blog says that while Facebook has not been hacked, it does have a virus spreading across its millions of users.

The virus is a variant of the social networking virus Koobface. The virus is spread by sending fake messages around Facebook accounts. The message looks like this (photo credits to McAfee):

If a user ends up following that link, they are taken to a site with a flash video player. The virus then alerts the user that their Flash software is out of date. The virus than prompts the user to download the latest version, and if the user accepts, it downloads the virus onto their computer. Finally, the user receives an error message once the virus is installed saying there was a problem installing their Flash update.

Facebook is aware of the problem, and asks users who have received the virus message to reset their password and scan their computers for the virus.

  • To make things safe and have a peace of mind you should never ever give your ok to update flash players or codecs.Even if you cannot see the film then.Some minutes of a trailer aren’t worth the stress you may get afterwards.Or you can make yourself sure by downloading the newest versions from a thrusted source like the vendor’s sites.When you are sure to have the latest version and you still get the message that your player needs to be updated just kick it and leave.Same with special media formats you never have heard from which just can be played with a certain player you are offered to download.This are mostly tactics to lure users to download.Propably infected.

    Stay safe !

  • Same problem faced by friendster since they allowed user to put flash script on their profile.

  • Im sure the virus will be taken care of in no time, but thanks for heads up. I dont know what Id do without my computer…

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  • I’ve known someone hit with this virus. Quite the bummer. Don’t check out videos until it’s resolved!

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  • This isn’t new. I guess these things has been going around for a long time..Especially via IM. Users just needs to be a bit careful.

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  • Good warning. Thank you.

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  • Warning well heeded. Thanks for that!

  • Thanks for the warning. And thanks RedeXec for the tips : for not click update flash players or codecs button.

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  • So true. This happened to my wife, but she didn’t open it. Thank you for the heads up.

  • The best advice is not to press the OK button, if you are not sure that it’s safe

  • Jason Kuiper

    Yeah, thanks for the heads up. They attack airports,cities, computers? Why cant we all just get along?

  • Do these people who make viruses actually have nothing at all better to do? It sickens me to know that even with the best anti virus software, you are merely running up front in the line of people who are chasing after the facts…Sad people.

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  • That’s an amazingly creative ploy. I guess we should never upgrade from a popup.

  • Thanks for this advice.

    I had some problems with Myspace and viruses in the past and no one ever seemed to give any warnings about it. If I ever spotted something odd or weird I’d always send out a bulletin to warn others.

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  • that’s gotta suck!! Considering the sheer numbers of people who use facebook.. A virus running rampant amongst that volume of people is a rather frightening thought

  • Thanks for the heads up. This is always scary stuff. Luckily I haven’t had a problem with it, but one can never be too careful these days. Good to have a timely warning about this virus.

  • It is really very sensitive topic.

  • Well, that is just a moment when hackers found a way to exploit flash into Facebook. It’s easiest and simplest way to inject the virus. And audience is very wide. I think this is just a start off for similar and more dangerous things.

  • What exactly does the virus do?

  • Thanks for the warning.

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  • Sherri

    I got the notice to upgrade immediately following a pdf download (nothing to do with a social site, by the way).
    Just as described above, it said there was a problem with the upgrade.
    And I was no longer able to hear the audio on YouTube videos. Other flash videos weren’t affected.

    I spent MANY HOURS over several days time at the Adobe support site, with nary a hint on how to fix the problem, except uninstall and reinstall. Which I did.

    I guess my antivirus must have finally caught up with it, because a month later, I can hear YouTubes again.

  • The best advice is not to press the OK button, if you are not sure that it’s safe.

  • Thanks for the heads up! I will remember about flash videos. I am the optimist. This is not the first virus and not the last!

  • At least two of my friends on Facebook got the virus… Here are a few links with removal instructions that I sent them to try and help:

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