Thursday, February 3, 2011

Facebook Virus:How to Remove the Koobface Facebook Virus

1. WHAT IS IT: The Facebook virus, Koobface, is a worm that replicates through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. It first made an appearance back in August, and has shown a resurgence in early December. It arrives in the form of a message from one of your Facebook friends, containing a link to a video with a message encouraging you to download it. Reports of messages linking to the Koobface virus include the following:
• Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street
• Examiners Caught Downloading Grades From The Internet
• You must see it!!! LOL.
• My friend catched you on hidden cam
• Is it really celebrity?
• Funny Moments
• You look so amazing funny on our new video
If you click on the link to the video, you will be taken to a remote site that sometimes mimics YouTube's format. You will then get a message that you must install a plugin which is sometimes called "video codec" and sometimes indicates that you need to install an updated Flash player. When you install the plug-in, you're actually installing the Koobface virus.

2.Koobface Spreads Itself

WHAT IT DOES: Koobface's first order of business will be to attempt to spread itself by infecting all of your Facebook friends. It does this by downloading an executable file called tinyproxy.exe which reads the cookies on your computer, identifies your friends list, and sends them infected messages like the ones described above. In addition to spreading itself, Koobface interferes with your internet navigation by linking you to lesser-known search engines whenever you attempt to conduct a search on larger sites such as Google or MSN.
3.HOW SERIOUS IS IT? According to InformationWeek, Facebook's spokesperson Barry Schnitt has said that, "Only a very small percentage of Facebook users have been affected and we're working quickly to update our security systems to minimize any further impact, including resetting passwords on infected accounts, removing the spam messages, and coordinating with third parties to remove redirects to malicious content elsewhere on the Web." That said, the original perpetrators of the Koobface virus have not been identified, and there is evidence that they are continuing to improve their techniques to infiltrate the security systems of social networking sites like Facebook. While a few reports have cropped up indicating that Koobface virus victims have found their hard drives decimated, the vast majority of infected Facebook users have been able to completely eradicate the virus using standard antivirus equipment, without experiencing any long-term damage to their systems.

4.Avoid the Virus if Possible

HOW TO PREVENT IT: No rocket science here. The Koobface virus is easily stopped by simply never downloading files unless you have complete confidence in their origin. If you receive a suspicious email, delete it without clicking any links. If you think it might be a legitimate email, but aren't sure, email or phone your friend to ask.

5. Get Rid of Koobface

HOW TO GET RID OF IT: While it is possible to manually extract the virus (see instructions below), most experts recommend using a virus scan. MacAfee and Norton Antivirus Software are both equipped to take care of the issue.


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