A virus that was reportedly spreading through Facebook has been confirmed as a hoax.
Writing on the allfacebook.com, blogger Nick O'Neill said that he had been alerted to a rumour about a virus on the social networking site called ‘knob face', which he initially believed to be a variation on koobface. The warning claimed that a virus was ‘spreading like wildfire' and that if you download the Trojan ‘it will steal your info, invade your system and shut it down'. It also used the words ‘Barack Obama Clinton Scandal', assumingly in order to lure people to a supposed video.
However it subsequently turned out to be a hoax. O'Neill said: “The incredible pace of which these updates are spreading is pretty incredible. It shows how effective Facebook can be for spreading information, whether or not it's accurate.
“The ability of these messages to spread so quickly may provide some insight into those looking to develop their own viral Facebook notes or wall posts. The fact that the messages end with the call to action, ‘copy and paste to your wall', is probably the most significant take away from this message. One would imagine that Facebook would have a system in place to prevent false information from spreading around so quickly.”
Commenting Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said that it appeared to be an unfortunate spelling mistake and most variants of the warning that he had seen spreading do refer to ‘koobface'.
He said: “What you have here is a widespread warning about a virus called ‘knob face' (the wrong name), which includes two inaccurate pieces of information about how you can identify the attack.
“In other words, it's no use at all as a warning. You would be much wiser to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date (to protect against the koobface worm) and take care about what programs you run and links you click on (for instance, be suspicious of links to sexy videos).
“Malware can be killed off fairly easily, but misinformation like this can live on for months, if not years, because people believe they are doing the right thing by sharing the warning with their friends.”