Girl who killed herself virus hoax spreads on Facebook.. but beware of scams

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

NOTE: This article is mostly about a hoax which spread on Facebook in August 2010, but there have been real scams spreading virally on the social network using the disguise of a message about a girl who killed herself after her father posted a message on her wall. If you’ve come to this page then chances are that you have encountered one of the genuine scams, like the version of the attack we have described here. And now back to the original article from August 2010..

Many Facebook users are spreading inaccurate messages on the social network, warning each other to beware a “virus” that claims a girl killed herself over a post her father made on her Facebook wall.

The text of the warning reads as follows:

WARNING:THERE IS A VIRUS GOING AROUND AGAIN, IF YOU SEE A GIRL WHO KILLED HERSELF OVER SOMETHING HER FATHER WROTE ON HER WALL DO NOT OPEN IT, IT IS A VIRUS AND IT WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO DELETE IT, PLEASE PASS THIS ON BEFORE SOMEONE OPENS IT. (IT IS A SELF REPLICATING TROJAN

However, the alerts are not based on facts, and members of the public are unwittingly perpetuating a hoax in the belief that they are helping their online friends and family avoid a nasty virus infection.

Ironically, the warning about the hoax is spreading faster and wider, and is probably more of a nuisance, than any genuine infection…

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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