Hoaxes & Rumors

Real or Hoax: New Facebook Virus Warning

Real or Hoax: New Facebook Virus Warning

A message warns of 4 new virus attacks on Facebook. Today we’ll take a closer look at this warning and if it has any validity.

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Facebook Virus Attacks?

Two of these warnings are mostly outdated while two of them are still valid. There is also no such thing as a Facebook “virus” though there are apps and malware links that  can cause problems for users.

Let’s take a look at the warning circulating in 2013:

Beware Your Account Can Be Hacked…!
Facebook currently has 4 virus Attacks.
These attacks can get your Facebook Account Hacked

1) :- If you get a notice of a PHOTOTAG Do not open it.
2) :- If you get a notification that afriend reported you for offensive behavior etc.. Do not open it.
3) :- Is a Video saying 99% of People can not watch this for more the 15 Sec. Do not open it.
4) :- All Messages from your friends via chat saying click this link .. Do not open.

Only way to protect yourself from these is to ignore them and not to click on them. Share this info and Help your friends. Be Safe..!

This photo was recently spotted on Facebook, with dozens of people tagged.

This photo was spotted on Facebook, with dozens of people tagged.

#1 – Phototagging

This is an ongoing problem. Typically you’ll see a yourself or a friend tagged in a photo posted by someone else. These photos are often something spammy, such as winning a free iPad (see graphic to right). This was not posted by the user, but by a malicious Facebook app with access to their account. If you find yourself tagged in a spammy photo, you are advised not to click on it or open the associated link in the caption. You can also report the photo to Facebook. It’s also a good idea to inform your friend of the photo, and suggest they remove any unknown or unwanted Facebook apps.

To the right is a recent example of an image used in photo-tag spamming. This image contained a link for the fake “glitch” iPad giveaways, which you can read more about here.

#2 – Offensive Behavior

This threat does not exist in 2013, nor has it for 4 years.

#3 – 99% Can’t Watch Video Link

This is another older threat, reported back in 2010. You can read a full report by Softpedia here. There are, however, still malicious fake video links being posted on Facebook. A more recent incarnation read, [SHOCK] At 17, she did THIS in public high school, EVERY day? Outrageous? or another one with the caption: (VIDEO) Shameless Girl Did this in front of all Public. WATCH (link)

Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a video link is legitimate or simply malware bait. When in doubt, skip the video, or message the person who posted and ask them if it was in fact posted by them.

#4 – Malicious Chat Links

This can occur, but one must use good judgement here. There are certainly situations where you are expecting a friend to send you a link. If, however, a “friend” pops up and starts dropping unknown links for no reason, it’s best to use caution. Should you click on one of these links and suspect that it is malicious, close whatever website or app that appears. You may want to inform your friend that they may have been hacked.

This alert is being circulated around Facebook in 2013.

This alert circulated on Facebook in 2013. Two of the warnings, however, are outdated.

What to do if you were hacked

If you clicked on one of the links above, there are some steps you can follow to undo the damage done:

• Remove any Facebook apps you don’t want or recognize (see How to Block or Remove a Facebook App)
• Change your Facebook password
• Remove any posts that have been made on your behalf by these spammy apps.
• Inform your friends that the post wasn’t from you. Some of your friends may have already clicked on the links posted on your behalf.

Bottom Line

Should you be fooled into clicking a link in one of the methods above, be sure not to allow any application permission to access to your account. If, however, you may have allowed an app access, follow the steps above to resolve the situation and prevent it from spreading on your behalf.

Have you seen any of the items in the warning above? Let us hear your experience in the comments below.

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