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Beware of Links Bearing Trojans

Phishing isn’t the only reason to be careful where you click on Facebook. Facebook has also had problems with viruses. One notorious example was called Koobface—technically a worm delivered by means of a Trojan horse—which spread via Inbox message spam on Facebook.

If you got one of those messages—which could appear to come from a friend whose computer had been infected—you saw a link to an online video player. Once you arrived at the video page, a message informed you that you wouldn’t be able to play the video without downloading an upgrade to your video software. But if you clicked the link, you’d wind up downloading the Trojan and potentially infecting your own computer.

I’ve seen this one in action myself. One morning 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 included. 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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