Don’t Trust Facebook Antivirusv

Anyone with any sense uses antivirus software to protect their computers from malware. Personally, I like Avira, but this isn’t a pitch for their software. There are plenty of options available for free. Just read reviews on CNET and you can find some that will fit your particular concerns.

One of the latest Facebook frauds, however, uses internet paranoia against the very users who want to protect themselves. It’s called F’acebook Antivirus. I think that it’s an ingenious bit of social engineering as much as coding because it couples your trust in Facebook with your paranoia of computer viruses to install a virus on your computer. It ticks me off, but I also have to respect the ingenuity.

Here’s the deal: when you install F’acebook Antivirus, it tags all of your friends in a photo and sends out batches of 20. The immediate result: people can end up tagged in hundreds of pictures that they aren’t in.

The long term result: I’m not really sure yet. I’ve just started digging around and learning more about this virus. As far as I can tell right now, it installs a few viruses on your hard drive. I scanned my hard disk and found four viruses, but the number could go up as we learn more about what each virus looks like.

The earliest repots of this virus gave instructions to remove tags so that you wouldn’t have these annoying pictures anymore. It turns out, though, that an annoying side effect of this virus is that it won’t let you “untag” yourself from photos. It just seems to be stuck. There’s no word from Facebook yet, so it’s also possible that they have removed tagging and untagging abilities on purpose to slow down the virus or start to eradicate it.

I fully trust that Facebook will have this problem solved within a matter of hours, or days at the most. You can stop the spread of this virus right now, though, by rejecting any requests from Facebook Antivirus, F’acebook Antivirus, F Antivirus, and similar names.


~ by facebookhoaxes on March 29, 2010.

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