Over the past several days, a Trojan virus has rapidly spread across Facebook and infected around 110,000 users. The bug, which is spread through a pornographic video, tags up to 20 friends of an infected user, and then infects new users when those friends click on the link. This tagging method, along with the fact that friends of the tagged users can see the link, has caused the virus to spread at a rapid pace.
Facebook has commented on the bug and said it will do everything possible to fight its spread.
“We use a number of automated systems to identify potentially harmful links and stop them from spreading,” Facebook told Threatpost. “In this case, we’re aware of these malware varieties, which are typically hosted as browser extensions and distributed using links on social media sites. We are blocking links to these scams, offering cleanup options, and pursuing additional measures to ensure that people continue to have a safe experience on Facebook.”
However, the best way for users to avoid falling victim to this scam is to simply be aware of it — and to be skeptical of any suspicious link. Just clicking the link to the video isn’t enough to infect users, who are prompted to download a fake Flash player in order to watch the “video.” It’s disheartening that so many people have fallen victim to such an elementary scam in such a short amount of time, but if you’re well-informed and know what to look for, you can easily avoid their fate.
Always think twice if you are prompted to download anything in order to view a video. This is a very popular trick with malware authors. It’s also recommended to enable ‘tag review‘ in your Facebook settings to keep items from automatically appearing on your Timeline.