White Gift Box With A Blue Ribbon? Farmville virus or hoax?

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

For a few weeks I’ve been watching hundreds of thousands of users sharing a warning about a Facebook virus that is allegedly spreading disguised as a Farmville gift box.

A typical message reads:

FARMVILLE PLAYERS ETC… THERE IS A WHITE GIFT BOX GOING AROUND WITH A BLUE RIBBON ON IT. IT SAYS THAT SOMEONE HAS SENT YOU A GIFT. THEY DID NOT…IT IS A VIRUS….DO NOT OPEN THIS GIFT…..COPY AND PASTE SO WE CAN PROTECT OUR FRIENDS

I’ve avoided commenting until now, because I haven’t seen any examples of the actual “virus”. However, it now seems to me that the sheer number of warning messages about this “threat” (which I haven’t seen, and I can’t find any reference to on the highly-regarded anti-virus websites belonging to our competitors either) outweighs the danger posed by any such malware.

If the virus exists at all, that is.

But what certainly is spreading virally is the warning – with vast numbers of Facebook users sharing the…

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.