“LOL” Virus Strikes Facebook Chat

magglassA new virus has been detected on Facebook that spreads via the site’s chat function. Users affected by the virus receive a Facebook Chat message from one of their friends that simply says “LOL,” accompanied by an attachment labeled “Photo_xxx.zip or IMG_xxx.zip.” The message itself is harmless, but the attachment is another story.

If users download the “photo” file from the message, they will download a Java file that automatically downloads malware from Dropbox onto their computer. What’s worse, the bug also hijacks the Facebook profile of affected users and spreads to all of their friends. According to VPN Creative, the virus comes in several different variations, which makes it hard to track to its source and eliminate.

Since experts are still looking for a solution to the problem, it’s best for users to take steps to protect themselves. If you receive a message like this, don’t open it or download the attachment. That’s obvious advice, but it’s the only way to stamp out bugs like this one on Facebook. Be careful with any suspicious-seeming links on the site, noting the language, grammar and URLs in messages you receive. It’s also important to keep anti-virus software up-to-date on your computer, so even if you are attacked, you have a strong baseline of protection.