The Facebook Friend Suggestions security scare

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Updated Warnings are being posted all across Facebook suggesting that users who have received multiple friend suggestions are really infected with a computer virus.

A typical version of the warning reads as follows:

VIRUS WARNING: ANYONE WHO HAS GOTTEN A TON OF FRIEND SUGGESTIONS BE CAREFUL! IT IS A VIRUS! IF YOU ACCEPT THEM THEN YOUR ACCOUNT WILL SEND OUT ABOUT 85 TO SOMEONE ELSE!!! WARN YOUR FRIENDS NOW! This is a new virus that is sending requests to spread. DO NOT ACCEPT FRIEND SUGGESTIONS AT THE MOMENT!

The reality, however, is somewhat different. Most importantly, the behaviour and sightings of more than the usual number of Friend Suggestions are not a sign of a computer virus infection.

Instead, it appears that Friend Suggestions on Facebook now go to both parties, rather than just the one you specifically suggests takes up your suggestion of a new online connection.

So, imagine you are Tom, and you think that your…

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.