Don't click Facebook's sexiest video link, unless you want malware

Apparently thousands of Facebook users were struck again by messages from friends claiming "sexiest video ever" and referring to a thumbnail of a woman riding a bike. But they were fake messages hoping to lure users into clicking the link and infecting their computer with malware, or spamming it with ads.

But like all good social engineering, however, even if Facebook ends its current viral incarnation, another virus will mutate from it. That means that once the sexy video dies down, it will be another link to another "great page" or video from a friend.

By clicking the link, users will be inundated by ads or other malware, and their account commandeered to send more messages to friends. Soon, your friends will be getting the same message you clicked but sent by your account. The virus spreads exponentially.

So what can you do to be safe on Facebook? If a friend sends you an odd message on Facebook to check out a link, double-check if they sent it. But pay attention to the message itself. Does it use unusual language, too much punctuation or emoticons like ":P :P :P"? Does it even look like something a specific friend would send to you?

Be extremely cautious when having to download any kind of file on Facebook -- that generally means a virus. (While URL shorteners help greatly with Twitter and other short messages, they also help mask nefarious sites.)

"Seventy percent more Facebook users are reporting being attacked by malware via the site in the last year, and the problem only seems to be getting worse," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, told NetworkWorld. Cluey also said that Web users who have been attacked should scan their computer with anti-virus software, change their passwords and remove the application from their Facebook profile.
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