Facebook virus refers to the entire class of viruses and malware that are social-network related. These types of malware are often spread with the help of Facebook Messenger, posts, and pages. Hackers will often take control of random Facebook Messenger accounts and pages, and use them to spread malware via direct messages. Clicking on a link or downloading an attachment contained in these messages unleashes the virus.
What Does a Facebook Virus Do?
A Facebook malware can do any number of things on your computer. Most are programmed to steal sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card details, important files, contacts and so on. The stolen information is then used for identity or financial fraud. It can also be used for black mail campaigns.
The malware is spread through malicious links that appear as being legitimate. But once clicked, the links download a virus or lead to fraudulent sites that steal user information or that are packed with malware. While private messages are the most common way that Facebook viruses are spread, they can also be incorporated as part of posts and the contents of pages.
List of Facebook Viruses
There are several variants of the Facebook virus. Here are a few of them:
· Messenger Virus
The messenger virus is spread through the chat Window. It tricks users by creating a fake message purporting to show a YouTube video of the Facebook account holder. Upon clicking the link that is supposed to go to YouTube, the victim is led to a malicious site that either collects sensitive information or infects the device with malware.
· Facebook Video Virus
The Facebook video virus is a malicious virus that control’s a victims Facebook account and posts “my private video” on the timeline. If others click on this video, their accounts also get infected.
The Facebook video virus can also send private messages to all the contacts of the victim. The real danger of the Facebook video virus is that it coopts infected computers and uses them as botnets for further infection, thus creating a never-ending cycle of nefarious activity.
· ‘Is that you?’ Facebook Virus
The ‘is that you’ Facebook virus is another notorious variant of the Facebook virus that uses both video and direct messages to trick users into clicking malicious links. It will show the victim of a video in what seems like a compromising situation with the text ‘is that you?’ Most victims are tempted by this and often click it only to be directed to compromised sites or worse download malware on their computers.
· OMG Facebook Game Virus
OMG Facebook virus is a virus associated with the OMG Facebook game. OMG is an instant game platform that has become very popular on Facebook in recent years but has resulted to using a malicious strategy to increase their engagement. Also concerning are third-party advertisements that result in various infections when clicked.
Clicking on the advertisements can also lead to unsanctioned monetary charges.
· Clearance Sales Summary of 2019 Facebook Virus
The clearance sales summary Facebook virus is one of the most annoying Facebook viruses because it keeps on posting content after every two hours. It promises great sales discounts from famous clothes and shoe brands, such as Adidas, Nike, and Timberland. Clicking one of the malicious links directs the victim to a site that looks just like the official one. Some victims have gone on to make fake purchases, and in the process, lost lots of money as all the goods that are posted on the site are fake and none existent. The scam is also very prevalent on Instagram and on other social media sites such as Twitter.
· Facebook Faceliker Virus
The Faceliker virus is a malware that takes over a victim’s Facebook account and uses the same to promote pages, fake news, links, videos and other types of content. It works by redirecting the unsuspecting victim to malicious content whenever they like a page or a post that is auto-generated by the virus.
· Facebook “Following Me” Scam
The Facebook ‘following me’ scam is not exactly a virus but works the same exact way as the name suggests. It operates by promoting a post that asks victims to identify strangers that are following them. It takes advantage of the fact that Facebook now allows strangers to follow a person even if they are not exactly friends on the platform. Users who are duped to clicking on the promotions are lead to infected sites.
· Facebook Ray Ban Virus
This scam was very prevalent in 2017 and was used by cyber-criminals to promote fake Ray Ban deals that offered the brand’s products at a fraction of the price. Clicking on any of the ads (that appear on the timeline) installs a password stealing malware. Once the malware has infiltrated the victim’s computer, it uses the victims account to further promote the scam. Other details that are stolen have been used for identity and financial fraud.
· Facebook Hahaha Virus
The Facebook hahaha virus will turn your computer into a bitcoin mining machine. It tricks users into downloading a zip file that, once installed, results in a slow performance and lead to constant unresponsiveness.
The list of Facebook viruses is huge because they keep on evolving. Others include Facebook invite virus, Facebook automatic wall post virus, Facebook friend request virus, Facebook change color virus, Facebook child porn virus, Facebook suspension virus, and the Facebook stalker virus. No matter what they are named, their modus operandi is all the same; they will either trick you into clicking a link that leads to a malicious site, steal sensitive data from you or use your account and computer as a launchpad for their nefarious campaigns.
How to Remove a Facebook Virus
There is no conclusive Facebook virus removal guide because Facebook viruses comes in all shapes and sizes. The malware also keeps on evolving and will seek to take advantage of any new features that are added to the social media giant. Before Facebook Messenger, there was no viruses that targeted Messenger, for instance, and the same applies to the timeline feature or the Facebook pages option. So, you never know how the next Facebook virus campaign is going to look like.
If you are sure that a message, post, or video is a virus, Facebook suggests that you scan your computer with an anti-malware solution such as Outbyte Antivirus. The malware tool should find the source of the infection and stop it.
The social media giant also advises that you clean your web browser by removing suspicious add-ons or by undoing recent setting changes to your browser. You should also update your browser as running the latest version ensures that you have the latest security patches.
If your account has been coopted for a malicious campaign that includes sending messages, creating posts and pages, you can review your activity log and delete any posts and pages that you didn’t mean to create or like.
Facebook also advises its users to be careful when interacting with ‘too good to be true’ kind of content as it is often the case, such content is used to bait unsuspecting victims.
Hopefully, this article has been of help to you in further improving your knowledge about the Facebook virus and social media scams, in general. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comment section below.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.