Many Facebook users noticed what at first seemed to be merely an odd phenomenon in their Chat boxes, but actually turned out to be something far worse: the Anonymous Chat Virus is making its rounds across Facebook, and here’s what you need to know to protect your profile – and your computer.
The first thing you’ll notice is the chat box popping open, with a message similar to the following:
“hey, i just made a photoshop of you, check it out 😛 bit.ly/fqMIO4”
“haha, have you seen this pic you were tagged in yet? http://is.gd/B1Jz4D”
Notice the links at the end of the messages? If you click them, the viruses are unleashed on your PC. Some users asking questions at the official Facebook Security discussion board insist they never even clicked the link, but were still infected. This virus appears to have originated in Asia, but has spread quickly through the U.K. and United States as well. Leading security firms and anti-virus companies have yet to issue updated definitions that can stop this virus – so attempting to prevent it launching on your system is currently the best way to defend against it.
You can do something about this by taking the following steps:
- Do not click on any links in chat messages on Facebook until this has been locked down.
- If you are infected, the virus acts by installing an app on Facebook that authorizes it to use your Chat to infect others – you can remove the app, then log out and log back in, and you may have some luck that way (though some users report this being unsuccessful .) To try it, go to Account, Privacy Settings, Edit Application Settings, and remove soothik.co.cc from the list.
- After you make these changes, change your password. Clear your browser cache, and log back in.
Hopefully, Facebook will get a handle on this situation before too much longer. Until then, watch your Chat box carefully, and don’t click the links.
M. Laurin is a security analyst who enjoys writing about social networking, electronics, and technology. She currently writes for alliedsatellite.com