Monday, December 8, 2008

Koobface Virus. Had Enough Yet?

Facebook was recently attacked by the Koobface Virus.   This Virus  gets hold of your machine, turns it into a zombie and steals your personal information.  It's been attacking Facebook users.  They get a spam message when they log into their account and are duped into downloading and installing the virus. detected this threat and reported on it here.

But here's the most telling part of their report:  "Messages and comments on MySpace and Facebook include links to http://youtube.[skip].pl. If the user clicks on this link, s/he is redirected to http://youtube.[skip].ru, a site which purportedly contains a video clip. If the user tries to watch it, a message appears saying that s/he needs the latest version of Flash Player in order to watch the clip. However, instead of the latest version of Flash Player, a file called codecsetup.exe is downloaded to the victim machine; this file is also a network worm. The result is that users who have come to the site via Facebook will have the MySpace worm downloaded to their machines, and vice versa."

Did you get that?  The file is called, "codecsetup.exe."  That ".exe" on the end of the file name clearly identifies this as a virus that attacks Windows systems.  It's an executable file.   If you double click this file and run it on your system, game over. and the reason why this happens is beause Windows gives all users full administrative privileges unless they modify their user account.

Linux doesn't allow this. Linux is set up as a multi-user computing system.  Each user only has privileges for their account.  In order to take any action system wide, the user must log into the root (administrator) account.  to do this, the root password is needed.   So, if mom and dad hold the root password, the kids aren't going to be able to get to the administration level and mess up the computer system wide.

In addition, this virus is designed for and targeted at Windows.  Linux does not run .exe (Windows executable) files. Even if you accidentally downloaded it to your Linux system, it would not run.  Linux simply does not recognize the .exe file.

So, if you really want to enjoy using Facebook without losing your privacy or personal information, get Linux.

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