Thursday, December 4, 2008
Related: Reuters: Destructive Koobface virus turns up on Facebook By Jim Finkle Thu Dec 4, 2008
I’m working on a backup computer because I have fallen victim to the “Facebook virus” that is making the rounds as it is described here – and in a Reuters’ article:
[…] “McAfee warned in a blog entry on Wednesday that its researchers had discovered that Koobface was making the rounds on Facebook…
“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…
“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.
“…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.”
Another excellent post about this may be found on the Schipul Blog: Facebook Users Attacked by Trojan Virus November 7th, 2008
Over 24 hours later, and after considerable work, the virus has been removed; however it irreparable damaged the operating system, in spite of the highly touted Microsoft security update system...
Fortunately I have backups. However, in spite of an excellent backup system, I temporarily have no access to any of my data, research, notes, preliminary drafts of future columns, writing or art files, because of the thoroughly destructiveness and ingenuousness of this particular attack and how complicated it has been to restore my data and operating systems.
Fortunately my next column is not due until tomorrow and only missed some relatively minor deadlines today, for which, everyone is being very supportive and understanding.
Of course, it is not Facebook’s fault that it was attacked by a virus, with perhaps one pause for thought, as mentioned in the article: “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.”
I’m an intense internet and technology user and for twenty years I have safely avoided a serious attack. Although in hindsight I understand how and why I make such a stupid mistake.
Nonetheless, the Reuters article points out that “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.”
Over 24 hours later and a lost day of work, I will have to re-evaluate using Facebook. I have to consider that since Facebook is not a component of how I make a living, and that statistically, Facebook users will remain a target of the hackers, I may have to err on the side of avoiding exposing myself to this phenomena in the future.
Between the spam, the phishing, and the hackers, it would appear that the criminals in the internet world are making considerable inroads in eroding the benefits that internet technology can provide to our everyday quality of life.
The ratio of spam to real emails on one of my email accounts is currently 50 to 1. It is not fun worrying about every other click of the mouse…
I wish that somehow, there was some hope that solutions are being developed to combat the criminal element on the internet, however, the technicians I spoke with today, seemed just as pessimistic as I feel at the moment.
20081204 A sad face over the Facebook Koobface virus.