National

Apr 9, 2010 10:18 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Facebook warning: vicious malware circulating

Annette Stewart spends at least three hours a day on Facebook. "Before it was a way to communicate with friends. Although I still do that, the main reason I go on now is for the games," she says.

Now, she and other Facebook users are on the lookout for a malicious software program called Koob-face. "I have heard there is a virus out there if you open it, it will take over your entire computer," says Annette.

Here's how it works: Cyber-criminals entice you to click on a link, by promising something like an interesting video or a look at sexy photos.

The messages look real, often sent from one of your Facebook friends.

But you have to download a special program, which is really spyware, that infects your computer then it sends the same bogus message to all your Facebook friends.

"Just one person getting an infection on a social networking site actually opens the door to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, or millions getting infected," says Jeff Debrosse of ESET Computer Security.

Miles Najera was almost a victim. "It was a link to click on." But knew something wasn't right. "I hadn't talked to that person for a long time. I thought it was weird for him to be sending me a random video or something. I figured it was a virus," says Miles.

Experts say always use an up-to-date browser and keep your anti-virus software updated.

If you do click on the infected link, use a reputable anti-virus software program to clean up your computer.

 

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