Ever wonder why you sometimes see friends who has posted the same link on many of their friends walls advocating for a particular company or product? As many of us have already figured out, these users have been hacked by a virus. But with Facebook’s extensive security team and leading innovations, what sort of virus is powerful enough to infiltrates the largest website in history? The answer is Koobface.
Koobface is a virus created by hackers in Russia whose target is social networking websites. Its gets part of its name from it favourite website to infect with its viruses, Facebook. According to an article in the New York Times, Koobface often entices Facebook users by providing a link to a video containing a sexy woman. This seems harmless enough but as the user clicks on the link he or she gives Koobface complete access to their PC and allows the virus to continue to further infect the contacts of that individual. In spite of Facebook’s best efforts, Koobface still actively infiltrates many profiles today. It is usually caught and dismantled in a timely fashion, but no matter how much protective software Facebook creates, Koobface always seem to find its way back in.
The real problem her lies within our laws and regulations on the internet. Since the internet and more specifically, Web 2.0, are relatively new and up coming technologies there have been few laws made that can regulate content. The internet is a vast medium of communication and website such as Facebook that contain over 500 million users worldwide are simply to large to control at this time. Since we have inadequate internet laws especially when dealing with international matters, it allows criminal hackers such as the creators of Koobface who are located in Russia to essentially get away with infecting users worldwide with viruses. The Russians involved in Koobface have made over an estimated 2 million dollars from marketers and advertisers who pay them to promote their brands through hacking.
With no solutions coming in the near future, it is up to the individual user to protect themselves from the threat of viruses. Be smart when surfing Facebook and do not click on any links that are not from a reputable source such as YouTube. Also, when a friends computer is hacked and a link is posted on your wall, do not click it and remove it immediately to ensure other users are not enticed to do so. Lastly, this is just one more reminder of the dangers of using social networking and more specifically, Facebook.
It’s time to start considering if the negative consequences of using Facebook are worth the risk?