Feeds

Hoax Facebook virus makes more trouble than a real virus

Don't tell all your friends

Security for virtualized datacentres

A hoax Facebook virus is spreading rapidly across the social network.

Many users have been hoodwinked into forwarding an inaccurate warning about the spread of non-existent malware that claims a girl committed suicide over a post her father wrote on her Facebook wall.

No such tragedy has occurred but many are forwarding the wrong-headed message (extract below) creating confusion in the process.

WARNING: THERE IS A VIRUS GOING AROUND AGAIN, IF YOU SEE A GIRL WHO KILLED HERSELF OVER SOMETHING HER FATHER WROTE ON HER WALL DO NOT OPEN IT, IT IS A VIRUS AND IT WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO DELETE IT, PLEASE PASS THIS ON BEFORE SOMEONE OPENS IT. (IT IS A SELF REPLICATING TROJAN)

People are passing on the warning in the mistaken belief they are helping Facebook friends to avoid a threat. In reality, they are spreading a hoax about a non-existent virus infection. The bogus warning is arguably causing more of a nuisance than a genuine malware infection, according to net security firm Sophos.

It adds that miscreants have exploited the confusion created by the warning by establishing Facebook pages that supposedly offer pictures from the fictitious girl's Facebook wall, but are really designed to make money by tricking surfers into wasting their time completing online surveys of dubious merit.

Malware hoaxes were part and parcel of net life long before the advent of social networking. Surfers are advised to check out warnings with reputable sources before spreading them along.

Internet rumours suggest a girl called Emma killed herself on Christmas Eve 2008 after being bullied on Facebook. However, supposed extracts of conversations that led up to this "tragic event" show "Like" buttons, a feature Facebook only introduced months later.

A more detailed explanation of the genesis of the hoax and its effects can be found in a blog post by Sophos here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.