Beware the Facebook Koobface!

Nasty little virus targets social networking site

Koobface wants to be your friend on Facebook.  Don't let it.

Facebook's 120 million users need to be on the lookout for a nasty virus that uses the social networking site to infect PCs and grab credit card info.

The virus propogates itself by using infected computers to send out to notes to other users with subject lines such as  "You look just awesome in this new movie."  It then directs its victims to a YouTube-type website where the video doesn't play, so it sends its victims to a site that purports to be an update for Adobe's Flash player.  But it's not.  It's malware.

What makes the virus so effective is that it comes through social networking sites, not spam, wrote Alexander Gostev, a security analyst at Kaspersky Lab, about an earlier variant of the virus.

"Unfortunately, users are very trusting of messages left by 'friends' on social networking sites. So the likelihood of a user clicking on a link like this is very high," said Gostev. "At the beginning of 2008 we predicted that we'd see an increase in cyber-criminals exploiting MySpace, Facebook and similar sites, and we're now seeing evidence of this."

Only a "very small percentage of users" had been affected by these viruses, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told Reuters.

"A few other viruses have tried to use Facebook in similar ways to propagate themselves," Schnitt said.

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