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Facebook 'Koobface' Viruses Getting Smarter, More Dangerous

Facebook Viruses Getting Smarter, More Dangerous

Back in October we reported on a virus by the name of Koobface, a nasty trickster that appeared in the form of messages pointing to supposedly racy videos. Click the link in the message and you'd be directed to download a new video player, which was in actuality the virus, itself, quickly taking over your profile and spreading to your friends. Koobface is sadly still around, now in its 28th revision, and is getting smarter and trickier, but no less annoying.

Have you ever been the victim of a computer virus?
Yes44829 (70.0%)
No9478 (14.8%)
I'm not sure9692 (15.1%)


The basics are still the same: It's still shown as a link to a supposed video that prompts you to install a new version of Adobe's Flash player, the most common format used for Web videos. These days, though, that ambush page is a lot sneakier, showing the profile picture of the user whose compromised profile got you in the mess in the first place, and making the whole scam look more genuine. If you install the downloaded file, the virus will look into the stored information on your computer from Facebook, compromise your profile, and send itself to all your friends -- likely making them a little less than thrilled with you.

As before, the best way to avoid it is to make sure links to videos from friends are genuine. And if you see a message like the above, asking you to install a new version of Flash, don't do it. [From: CNET News]

Facebook Crime and Punishment

    Self-Incrimination
    Do we really have to explain this? Just look up the shoplifter who posed with her stolen merchandise, the many photos of drunk underage teens, and, most recently, the album featuring a couple who killed and ate an endangered iguana in the Bahamas.

    Blackmail
    Sending any personal info or incriminating pictures to someone on Facebook is a huge mistake for many reasons. One of the worst possible outcomes is getting blackmailed for money, sex, or, well, anything these sickos dream up. Really, whether they're using a fake profile or not, it's a horrible idea. Read up on the story of an 18-year-old who blackmailed 31 male classmates after he posed as a girl and asked for nude pictures. That's lesson enough.

    Impostors
    Sure, it can be harmless to impersonate a celeb online or create a fake profile for a movie character. But seriously, there's a definite line you shouldn't cross when pretending to be someone else and it can lead to dire consequences for you. Maybe it's not as extreme as the Moroccan man who was jailed for 43 days after creating a fake Facebook profile of a prince, but you never know. Just steer clear of it.

    Self-Incrimination
    Do we really have to explain this? Just look up the shoplifter who posed with her stolen merchandise, the many photos of drunk underage teens, and, most recently, the album featuring a couple who killed and ate an endangered iguana in the Bahamas.

    Suicide
    Social networking sites has been blamed for a lot of things, fairly and unfairly, but in our opinion, the worst offense has been their indirect involvement in suicides. Obviously, there are a lot of factors responsible in each case, but there does seem to be links between social networking and a rash of suicides, and obviously tehre's the case tragic of Megan Meier, who killed herself after a classmate's mom impersonated a teen boy and harassed her over Myspace.

    Nigerian Scammers
    Oh, you thought this only happened via poorly worded emails, right? WRONG. Once people got wise to their old ways, these con men are turning to social networking sites for new targets. This time, they're hacking into people's accounts and impersonating them to ask for money, usually with some weird sob story. You can check out a transcript of one of these conversations here.

    Cooperation
    Even if the law isn't on a case, a victim, his friends, or empathetic strangers might be. Since it's easy to get word out for anything online, people are using blogs, forums, and social networking sites to help track down criminals. In one such case, a vehicle thief was tracked down by a bunch of anonymous car enthusiasts after the victim posted his story on a forum. In the end, they identified the guy through his Facebook profile.

    Murder
    We've reported on numerous incidents of people getting in trouble because of their online behavior. Now, people are becoming victims because of what they're doing on the Web too. In England, a man was convicted of murdering his estranged wife after she changed her relationship status to "single." So, be careful of who can see your profile and what you're doing, no matter how harmless it seems.


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Tags: facebook, koobface, security, virus, worm

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