Facebook Viruses: Don’t be Fooled

Facebook is the place to talk with friends, share photos and catch up with old acquaintances, but you shouldn’t have to deal with Facebook viruses. Unfortunately it’s also the place to get infected with computer malware. The most well-known recent infection was the Koobface worm, seen at first as a video offer.

“Check out this Paris Hilton video!”

“I caught you on a secret cam!”

Click on the video attachment, and you get instructions to load a viewer for the video, usually Flash Player. If you agree to download the viewer, your computer gets infected with all sorts of nasty things.

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Facebook Viruses - Don't Be Fooled

Common Facebook Viruses

Hackers are lurking, just waiting for the moment of vulnerability. Here are some other schemes:

Money Transfers

You get a Facebook message that a friend of a friend is stranded overseas and needs money right away. Even if you don’t transfer any cash, the hacker now has the initial contact to weasel their way into your confidence, either getting your computer infected or using your friend list to find new prospects.

Hoax Apps

You get a message that there’s a problem with your Facebook profile, and some troubleshooting has to be done to find the cause. You’re asked to run the Error Check system” app, or maybe it’s “Profileye” — no matter the name, it’s still not a good idea at all to download and install the program, which passes on your secret data back to the hacker, who can now pretend to be you and can post things to your wall the spread the virus or even send messages to all your friends.

Fake Ads

An ad appears on your wall asking you if you want to change your life working at home posting links or buying this fantastic product, usually something like Acai berry shakes or a colon cleanser. Still, people do click on the ad and infect their computers.

Dealing With Facebook Viruses

Here’s some basic tips to avoid Facebook viruses:

  • Don’t use any words in your Facebook profile as a password, and change your password every month.
  • Don’t assume your Mac is safe from virus attack — it isn’t.
  • Run frequent virus scans.
  • Never leave Facebook by simply closing the window — always log out.
  • Read the FACEBOOK SECURITY web page at the Facebook website often for the daily updates.
  • Never click on an unknown link that ends in an EXE.

If infected, let your computer’s anti-malware app take care of the situation. If it’s too much for the app to handle, you may have to restore your computer’s file and OS from a clean backup copy. At the very least, change all your login information so that your friends won’t also be targeted by Facebook viruses.


About Paul Salmon

Paul Salmon is the founder of Technically Easy. He is a an experienced PC user, and enjoys solving computer-related problems that he encounters on a regular basis.

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  1. Josie Suarez
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Spreading the news on viruses is important. Zuckerberg? It is important to implement good security practices when using such sites.

  2. Posted November 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    My friend goet the virus….her account auto sharing and upload bad picture and tagging all friend…
    How to remove that virus?

  3. Marilyn Skolnick
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Facebook viruses is a mess, the most annoying one. i probably don’t know how to fix this kind of problem but thanks to you that you provide some solutions here that may help.

  4. Chris
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    The sad thing is whenever something good comes up (not to say Facebook is necessarily something good) someone has to spoil it for everyone else. You try to get in touch with friends and family and bam! You get slapped. It’s true there are methods to protect yourself, but all this is becoming tedious.

    • Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Computers are like that. Whenever something in computers or the technology world becomes popular, people find ways to exploit technology to their means.

  5. Andrew Walker
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this. Recently, I saw a lot of people posting “look at this” “look at that” videos, and I know, it’s all just viruses. So annoying!

  6. Firdaus Baharuddin
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    help me please,
    How to prevent/avoid of strangers from my account facebook was be Hacked
    because My facebook is something like stolen account.

    Firstly,I don’t know,what I do…..
    go to Turn Off Automatic restart,because i won’t let go to re-boots computer,kinda funny like restart me…..

    Secondly,I don’t understand,what are Kinda do…..
    my Windows Firewall not protection and Anti-Virus Program online should be re-installed…
    But I found 2 files unknown suspicious on my PC….. something like traffic PC…. freezing ….

    Thirdly,I really don’t understood,what a freaking my mind……
    my page : Google Chrome,Internet Explorer n etc couldn’t not open…. “He’s Dead Jim!” and my PC suddenly auto restart itself…

    Fourthly,I don’t understand,what a hackers do…..
    I recheck back on my Facebook account,it’s okay,but,I re-open twice again… facebook says : “Sorry,we are experiencing temporary technical problem,please check back later”.
    NOTE : my friends said,if you had this problem,you must be fixing self or sending my PC into shop,if you suspicious…. my friends said again… if you have message like this,you should format your PC and be less traffic jam….. your PC like new again…..


    i forgot to tell,my fb having problems…..
    erm….. something like not open

    I ever be infected malware software on internet,trojan could have and etc…

    I ever being lied,because strangers “spy” like spyware….
    example : my chat fb, “hi,how are you” , “wanna Laugh” “It’s that your Video”
    first time i ever hitting….. one thing,most importantly don’t link a video,because i was infected nasty software like threaten… last point,I don’t know idea,what a freaking my mind : Download Flash Player,without getting fixed up….

    I sadly,cause I don’t expect what are kind human beings to evil yourself (Hackers,Fakers,ID Threat)

    Sorry my little bad English,don’t worry one day,I’m Improve my Language n study again Literature….. SIMPLE ENGLISH I REMIND !!

    • Posted July 21, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      What I would do would be to first run your anti-virus software and anti-malware software to ensure you computer is clean. Microsoft Security Essentials is good for anti-virus and Malwarebytes is a good anti-malware application. I would also enable SSL within Facebook so you are using the social network over a secure connection.

    • Awm
      Posted July 21, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      then,what you did?

  7. Posted June 24, 2011 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the info, it truly helps to spread the word of viruses. People need to be aware they are out there even in a “common” site such as facebook.

    • Posted June 24, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      It seems the more popular a social site becomes, people will find ways to exploit it with viruses and other malware.

  8. Posted June 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    This whole situation with Facebook is disturbing. If you have a problem with Facebook and call their 800 #, no one will answer. Make too many friends too quickly, your account is blocked by Facebook for 30 days. Do it a second time, and the FB police warn you: “Do it again and your Facebook account will be permanently blocked=60 day suspension.” Keep in mind, though, that Facebook leads you on. Every time yo make a friend, the screen pops up with 6 more people saying “Do you know any of these people?” ….almost dangling them in your face to make friends with them. If you Send out too many messages to your friends…another Facebook warning of a 30 day blocked account for spreading what FB deems as “spam” will appear. However, why is Marc Zuckerberg and his cronies so worried about legitimate traffic while giving an open license to these “virus propagators” who appear on FB with regularity, unpunished? It is almost as if Zuckerberg is in cahoots with the Virus software companies as well as these Virus spreaders, that work from home, and get paid a commission for every virus an unsuspecting, innocent Facebook customer clicks on. If it isn’t collusion, then…what is it? I really believe one day a competitor to FB will come about. And a whole bunch of disgruntled customers will switch. I fell for 2 viruses on FB. One is called “Koobface.” Google it and you will see what it is. Then I fell for the one that gives you a preview of what you will look like when you are 90 years old. Each time I had to pay a computer technician $200 to come to my house and repair my hard drive. Who reimburses me? Mr. Zuckerberg? That’s a laugh. Especially as he goes all the way to the bank! Something’s wrong here!!!!!

  9. John Baggins
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    or you could just use linux.

    • Posted May 3, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      I like using Ubuntu, but for the average user, who has grown up using Windows, Linux may not work. Users hate change.

    • Tish
      Posted May 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      How would a regular person w/o a computer degree switch from windows to Linux? I have no idea where I would start. Pls pardon that this is not the subject of this thread…

  10. Justine
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this post, I appreciate it a lot! Although I don’t entertain those intriguing phrases because I’m really not interested in the first place, I don’t know that they are viruses or something. Well the least that I could do to warn others is to have this forwarded to my colleagues.

    • Posted April 15, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Spreading the news on viruses is important. Education others on what to look for will help to ensure the impact of viruses is reduced. Thanks for visiting!

  11. zamahsari
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    With Facebook, beside it is easy to use, Facebook makes me easy to find my old friends but of course with spammers or even viruses make us very careful and thanks for the tips to protect the account.

  12. Posted April 12, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Beware, there are now a lot of scammer that walking on Facebook.

  13. Hausboot
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    :D no offence, but you have to be very slow to be fooled like this:D anyway, it’s good that you wrote about this, but the problem is your word should get to the right people, and I doubt these are the ones reading this post. to prevent this, you have to promote it viral on facebook and twitter, create a really smart viral campaign, so everybody will know

    • Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      It is important to ensure that warnings about viruses gets out the correct audience. This blog, however, does get a wide range of visitors with different technical backgrounds, so this post could help someone in the future.

  14. Allen
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Mr. Paul,

    Thanks for this post. I will refer my friends to read this post to make them understand about this issue. I can see them using Facebook everyday but are not taking care of their security. I tried to warn and educate them as I graduated as a Computer Engineer but seems like they don’t care.

    • Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Many people wont’ take security seriously until something happens. It is the way it always is, from security to backing up data. Humans seem to mainly be reactive, instead of proactive, when it comes to technology.

  15. Posted April 9, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Hi Paul,
    Social bookmarking sites like facebook are excellent to make new friends and traffic for our sites but at the same time can get unwanted visitors in the form of hackers, viruses and malware codes. My facebook account got hacked twice. Now I am careful. Thanks for the share.

    • Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      I agree, social sites are great to find friends and traffic – if used properly. Also, as you mentioned, they can also be a haven for hackers, viruses (as discussed) and other malware that you don’t want. It is important to implement good security practices when using such sites. I’m sorry to hear about your facebook account being hacked. For me, I use Twitter for my blog, and have a separate Facebook account for personal use than I use for my blog.

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