Facebook Stormed by a Trojan Horse (not a virus)

Just recently an ISI person was infected with a Trojan horse on Facebook that was sent to all the staff. Fortunately, the national office was able to send a note to stop people from opening the message averting major problems. A questions was asked about what types of viruses reside on Facebook and what can people do from preventing themselves from contracting it. Here is my reply (I composed on my iPhone). Hope this is useful for you…

I think technically the type of security breach is a Trojan horse.¬† This type of security threat lures people to go to a site with offers of something interesting to them (they think¬† personal pictures and videos and porn do the trick for most people) by clicking on a link in a message from someone they trust. Then when the person goes to the site. They are told they have to update some software, perhaps a video driver or picture viewer. When they say “ok” a Trojan program is installed in the system which gets the facebook login information and sends the original message to everyone in the infected account’s friends page. This is somthing people have been doing for years with email, now applied to facebook.

You are relatively safe until you download the “update” file. So it is not a problem to delete the email or fb message. This gets through facebook’s virus filter because the “bad” file is on the linked server.

It is fairly easy to recognize these messages be because there is usually terrible spelling in the email. And while it comes from a friend, the topic does not make sense for them. Finally if it takes you to another site and it especially tells you to download an update or executable file, it’s probably bad. If you think you legitimately need to update an app (application), use google to find the update site for the app and download directly from there (not through the link).

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I still don’t get why people are still making viruses. I can’t wait not to have to reformat my computer 10 times a year. I blame windows because mac never has problems.

Actually, if there is anything to blame it is the popularity of windows. Mac is too small a platform market share wise to attack. Even if you sent out a virus, 7 times out of ten, it won’t be going onto a mac and so it wouldn’t work. On the other hand, 7 times out of 10 it will be a PC based system and so it would work and would spread quickly.

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