Christmas Tree app virus hoax spreads on Facebook

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Thousands of Facebook users are warning each other about a Christmas Tree virus said to be spreading in the form of a rogue application on the social network.

The only problem with this warning? It’s utterly bogus.

Here’s a typical message being shared widely on Facebook:

WARNING!!!!!!…..DO NOT USE THE Christmas tree app. on Facebookplease be advised it will crash your computer. Geek squad says its oneof the WORST trojan-viruses there is and it is spreading quickly.Re-post and let your friends know. THANKS PLEASE REPOST!

Users believe they’re doing the right thing when they share warnings like this – but unfortunately they haven’t checked their facts. Although anyone could at any time create a rogue application with the name “Christmas Tree” of course, we’re not aware of any malware which uses this disguise.

Furthermore, since when was Geek Squad a reliable source for information about new malware? Wouldn’t you be more sensible to check…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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