Facebook: The Koobface malware menace

Sep 26th 2010 at 9:14 AM

Hi everyone,

You may not know about the Koobface malware menace. Since Facebook is growing in popularity, we have to make sure that we Facebook users know about these kinds of security threats.

Koobface, which is an anagram of the word Facebook, is a malware menace that targets Microsoft Windows users who use social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. 

How it works

The viral spread of Koobface malware depends on users who do not take online security precautions when using social networking sites. 

For example, if you receive a Facebook message with the malware, you may be asked to click on a link and download a "plugin" or another program. Once downloaded, the malware gets into your computer, accesses all of your contacts and sends them the same message. The infection becomes virulent at this point. 

Even if you are taken to what looks like YouTube or an Adobe Flash download page, it's usually a spoof -- a trick to get you to download malicious software. 

What about the latest Koobface scare going around Facebook right now?

You may have seen some messages and posts referring to a video of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a so-called trojan worm called "Knob Face" and the dangers of adding a friend called "Smartgrrl15". If you haven't, chances are you will soon. 

Although Koobface is a very valid security threat, this posting is misleading and may cause more harm than good. 

One variation of the message may look a bit like this:

There is a VIRUS spreading like wildfire on Face Book! It is a trojan worm called knobface. It will steal your info, invade your system and shut it down! DO NOT open the link Barack Obama Clinton Scandal! If SmartGirl15 .... requests you, don't accept it; it is a virus. If somebody on your list ............adds her then...you get the virus ...too! Please copy and paste to your wall.....

But why is this a misleading post?

Your PC cannot get a virus by adding a friend to your contact list. Before posting any kind of security threat on your Facebook profile, make sure the threat is real by checking with credible sources. If you don't do your homework first, you will give your friends security tips that may not help them at all. Also, some posts may refer to a virus or trojan worm called "Knob Face"; this is also misleading since the malware menace is called "Koobface". 

What you can do to protect yourself

- Do some homework on online security tips.
- Don't click on any links unless they were sent by someone you know. Even so, take the content of the message into consideration: does it sound like something your friend would write or send? Is the message full of typos and spelling errors? Their PC may have been compromised, so be careful. 
- Avoid downloading anything though your social networking accounts. If you want to download Flash, just go right to the Adobe website. Updates are usually automatic, so don't fall for any update prompts sent through social networking sites. 
- Don't post security warnings unless you have thoroughly researched them with credible sources first.

Always be extremely vigilant.

Please to comment
May 8th 2014 at 10:35 AM by Davrin
Oh my! Very informative article. What is best antivirus software options ~ Norton, AVG? I don't like using ms explorer browser. I prefer chrome or firefox or what sandboxing browsers (would that help?) Thanks for sharing.
Dec 7th 2011 at 3:19 PM by troy48
Jul 5th 2011 at 11:31 PM by rishiforyou
Yes Doddee, since the start of the current recession in 2008, many unscrupulous people have taken recourse to creating trojans, viruses and of course scams to loot money off innocent people's accounts. In order to protect my PC, I use the a2 (A-squared) antivirus. It has proven to be the most reliable antivirus for me. Try it you will be surprised by all that it finds out on your machine in case of any infection.
Jul 5th 2011 at 6:01 PM by doddee
Nice article. We can't stress the info that you write about enough. I can't believe how many people still click on the outrages links. A good source for the latest Facebook scams, viruses, etc is Facecrooks.com. Have a good night, Doddee
Nov 3rd 2010 at 10:12 AM by GTBulmer
Hello, Rishi: Thank you for this well-explained and insightful article on the risks of malware menaces. I don't know why people take such pleasure in causing so much trouble for others! It is sad that we have to worry about these things. Your information is very helpful. GT :-)
Nov 3rd 2010 at 6:28 AM by flconversation
Although it has nothing to do with koobface - today I got another really bad virus - called "Think Point". I came up while surfing on SAFARI.... Now I know that in some places of the world the Safari Browser is accepted as the most secure one ... for Italy I cannot confirm it. Here I make the best experiences with Firefox.
Oct 6th 2010 at 5:44 PM by philjansen
This happened to me about two weeks ago. When i logged in to my facebook acount, it was blocked due to investion of the koobface virus. I had to download a cleaner from an antivirus program and had to change my password etc. The software checked my computer and could not find any koobface worm? May it was a hoax , I don't know. I am just great full that I did not loose any information on my computer. Thanks for sharing. - God Bless - philjansen.com
Sep 26th 2010 at 9:55 AM by visionary
Thanks for this much needed awareness on virus menace. I had no idea! I do the best I can not to open suspicious stuff on the Internet as I don't want to compromise my computer to any kind of worms or viruses. One can't be to careful.It's a shame that some people have nothing better to do then to send viruses and worms to infect people's computers!

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