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Beware of Links Bearing Trojans

Phishing isn’t the only reason to be careful where you click on Facebook. At the time of this writing, there’s a virus (technically a worm delivered by means of a Trojan horse) called Koobface that’s spreading via Inbox message spam on Facebook.

If you get one of these messages—which may appear to come from a friend whose computer has been infected—you’ll see a link to an online video player. Once you’re on the video page, a message tells you that you won’t be able to play the video without downloading an upgrade to your video software. But if you click the link, you’ll wind up downloading the Trojan and potentially infecting your own computer.

I’ve seen this one in action myself. One morning not too long ago, I woke up and logged onto Facebook to find a message in my Inbox from an old college friend. It was just a one-sentence message, of the “Hey, look at this” variety, with a link.

I was still half asleep and not thinking suspiciously, so I clicked the link. (Only later, when I was little more awake, did it occur to me that the friend in question almost never sent me messages littered with misspellings, smileys, and LOLs.)

After clicking, here’s what I saw:

Fortunately, I’d read about this particular Trojan, so I knew enough not to download the bogus video software. And now you do, too.

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