Monday, December 8, 2008

Just my luck

The following article is from Reuters. I only wish they had written it a couple of days earlier; then maybe I wouldn't have fallen in to the trap and had the security of my computer compromised and my Internet Explorer zapped. What I am trying to say is that my computer has been infected my a virus. I apologize to all of you who have contacted me, left comments, and posted stories that I have been unable to comment on. I hope to have things back up and running as soon as possible; but until then, please be patient with me.

Destructive Koobface virus turns up on Facebook
Thu Dec 4, 2008 4:52pm EST

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON (Reuters) - Facebook's 120 million users are being targeted by a virus dubbed "Koobface" that uses the social network's messaging system to infect PCs, then tries to gather sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

It is the latest attack by hackers increasingly looking to prey on users of social networking sites.
"A few other viruses have tried to use Facebook in similar ways to propagate themselves," Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said in an e-mail. He said a "very small percentage of users" had been affected by these viruses.

"It is on the rise, relative to other threats like e-mails," said Craig Schmugar, a researcher with McAfee Inc.

Koobface spreads by sending notes to friends of someone whose PC has been infected. The messages, with subject headers like, "You look just awesome in this new movie," direct recipients to a website where they are asked to download what it claims is an update of Adobe Systems Inc's Flash player.

If they download the software, users end up with an infected computer, which then takes users to contaminated sites when they try to use search engines from Google, Yahoo, MSN and Live.com, according McAfee.

McAfee warned in a blog entry on Wednesday that its researchers had discovered that Koobface was making the rounds on Facebook.

Facebook requires senders of messages within the network to be members and hides user data from people who do not have accounts, said Chris Boyd, a researcher with FaceTime Security Labs. Because of that, users tend to be far less suspicious of messages they receive in the network.

"People tend to let their guard down. They think you've got to log in with an account, so there is no way that worms and other viruses could infect them," Boyd said.

Social network MySpace, owned by News Corp, was hit by a version of Koobface in August and used security technology to eradicate it, according to a company spokeswoman. The virus has not cropped up since then, she said.

Privately held Facebook has told members to delete contaminated e-mails and has posted directions at www.facebook.com/security on how to clean infected computers.

Richard Larmer, chief executive of RLM Public Relations in New York, said he threw out his PC after it became infected by Koobface, which downloaded malicious software onto his PC. It was really bad. It destroyed my computer," he said.

McAfee has not yet identified the perpetrators behind Koobface, who are improving the malicious software behind the virus in a bid to outsmart security at Facebook and MySpace.
"The people behind it are updating it, refining it, adding new functionalities," said McAfee's Schmugar.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle, Additional reporting by Emily Kaiser; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

4 comments:

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

One of my facebook friends had this happen to them. Luckily, I didn't open the "message from her", so my PC was safe...but she had to deal with her whole PC crashing, I think.

Hope you are able to get it all taken care of!

Dawn said...

Oh, that stinks!! I was wondering if you'd gotten my message I sent. Now I know why I didn't hear back from you!

Hope you get straightened out soon!

The Happy Mom said...

Oh no! I hope you get everything clean and virus free soon! It seems like there's a new virus popping up every day we need to watch out for.

Stacey said...

Okay, I'm going to hunt down your email address bc I know I saw it on here and I'll fill you in. To say that I'm angry is the biggest understatement of the year, but I am trying to calm down before I get Norman kicked out of this program. lol