Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Facebook users hit by virus

By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

Facebook logo reflected in eye
The virus tricks users by telling them they're in a video

Facebook's 120 million users are being targeted by a virus designed to get hold of sensitive information like credit card details.

'Koobface' spreads by sending a message to people's inboxes, pretending to be from a Facebook friend.

It says "you look funny in this new video" or "you look just awesome in this new video".

By clicking on the link provided they're then asked to watch a "secret video by Tom".

When users try and play the video they're asked to download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

If they do, that's when the virus takes hold and attacks the computer.

Guy Bunker works for Symantec, who make Norton AntiVirus, and says there are two ways Koobface gets people's credit card details.

"It can either wait for you to buy something online and just remember the details you type in on your keyboard.

"Otherwise it can search your computer for any cookies you might have from when you've bought something in the past, and take them from there."

Networking threat

The Facebook case is the latest example of hackers using social networking sites to try to cash in.

MySpace was targeted by Koobface in August.

Security experts say people are far less suspicious about viruses on sites like Facebook because you need to be a member to log in.

Facebook won't give any specifics on how many users have been hit by the virus, only saying it's a small percentage.

But they have posted some advice on the site about what to do if you come across it.

"We're currently helping our users with the recently discovered 'Koobface' worm and phishing sites.

"If your account has recently been used to send spam, please visit one of the online antivirus scanners from the Helpful Links list, and reset your password."

Guy Bunker from Symantec says the virus is easy to get rid of.

He said: "You can either just download some anti-virus softrware from the web. Or you can do it yourself.

"Just go to your Windows directory and search for these two files: tmark2.dat and mstre6.exe.

"If you find either of them delete them straight away."

Damon: Reunion 'a bit terrifying'
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 11:25 GMT |  Music
City gets 'crime-detecting' CCTV
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 12:20 GMT |  Technology
Women get help for sex addiction
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 08:00 GMT |  Health
'Playing a paedophile was tough'
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 11:50 GMT |  Entertainment
Bootleg trade in DVDs is booming
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 07:11 GMT |  Technology
England fans want more protection
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 09:19 GMT |  The P Word

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific