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Facebook users spread virus to fellow usersBy Tom Manners 10 August 2010 | Categories: news
Online security firm Sophos is advising Facebook users against passing on a virus warning that is rapidly spreading across the social network.
A large number of users are currently forwarding inaccurate advice, warning others to beware of a ‘virus’ that claims a girl killed herself over a post her father made on her Facebook wall.
The text of the warning reads as follows:
"WARNING: THERE IS A VIRUS GOING AROUND AGAIN, IF YOU SEE A GIRL WHO KILLED HERSELF OVER SOMETHING HER FATHER WROTE ON HER WALL DO NOT OPEN IT, IT IS A VIRUS AND IT WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO DELETE IT, PLEASE PASS THIS ON BEFORE SOMEONE OPENS IT. (IT IS A SELF REPLICATING TROJAN)"
However, the alerts are inaccurate, and members of the public are inadvertently spreading the hoax in the belief that they are helping Facebook friends to avoid the threat from a non-existent virus infection.
"The bogus warning about the virus is spreading faster and wider, and is probably more of a nuisance than a genuine malware outbreak," says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa. "The situation has been complicated by cyber criminals creating Facebook pages that pretend to offer pictures of the girl's Facebook wall, but are really designed to generate money by sending unsuspecting users to online surveys."
Facebook users should always check their facts with a reputable source before sharing a virus warning with their online friends, Myroff says. "Scares like this can cause users to panic unnecessarily, and may mean that the public takes genuine virus outbreaks less seriously."
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