Facebook virus in 2018 – what to expect
- Facebook virus in 2018 – what to expect
- Currently known versions of Facebook malware, hoaxes, and scams
- Get to know how Facebook viruses spread
- Remove Facebook virus right away
Facebook virus is a broad term that covers various malware and scams circulating around the popular social network each of us uses almost every day. Being one of the most popular social networking services, Facebook along with Messenger is a perfect environment for scammers and cybercriminals to dive in for potential victims. Therefore, nowadays we have viruses that victims identify as “Facebook video virus” or “Facebook messenger virus youtube” as well as many others.
This article is filled with comprehensive descriptions of malware variants associated with the social network as well as in-depth Facebook virus removal guidelines. Therefore, start looking through the list of provided viruses, scams and hoaxes and find out whether your account is in danger and what your further actions should be.
Facebook malware can be split into three main categories that have their own characteristics. Here are they:
- Facebook virus is a term that describes various illegal methods used to hijack user’s FB account to use it for malicious purposes, such as spreading viruses to Messenger contacts, ask people for money in behalf of a victim and similar.
- Facebook hoaxes. These hoaxes are to blame for annoying messages appearing on your news feed. Usually, they are deceptive and simply spread lies, for example, that FB is about to become a paid service, or that Facebook is limiting your news feed for 26 people. Typically, hoax posts urge people to copy and paste the message and not to share it. This way, the hoax origin is harder to find and it is much harder to end those false claims spreading on the social network.
- Facebook scams. Be aware of deceptive links and pages appearing on the social network. These typically lead to malicious or phishing pages that dig for sensitive data. In a different scenario, you can lose money (see the Ray Ban scam case).
Now that you are familiar with types of Facebook malware, it is time to list the most popular versions of the said malware and find out what can be done in order to cleanse your social media account as well as the computer from the malware that’s been bothering you recently. Usually, it is enough to delete associated malicious or spyware-type program, change your privacy settings, although in other cases you will need to configure app permissions and carry out advanced malware removal instructions.
Deleting Facebook-related malware is not an easy task, and at this point, we’d like to recommend using anti-spyware, anti-malware or antivirus software for scanning your computer and eliminating the threat automatically. Do not forget to visit facebook.com/hacked and follow official instructions by the social media network to secure your account.
Currently known versions of Facebook malware, hoaxes, and scams
Facebook Messenger virus. Usually, accounts infected with this kind of virus start automatically sending malicious links along with deceptive messages to the victim’s friends via Messenger.
The deceptive messages typically consist of a few words or a short phrase, which is meant to arouse the victim’s curiosity and convince one to click on the provided link. The link may be shortened or created in a way to display a logo containing the victim’s profile image. Below, you can see examples of deceptive Facebook messages that spread the self-replicating virus:
- [Name] video :o;
- This video is yours?, very bad video;
- Hey, i just made a photoshop of you, check it out :P;
- Watch the video by clicking on the picture which belongs to you. ..1;
- Hello [name], what are you doing in this video?? LOL No comment!;
- Omg hahah have you seen this photo u got tagged in LOL —->;
- Ohh! det är verkligen du?;
- Similar lines.
As you can see, each of these lines is intended to draw victim’s attention or make one believe that the content behind the provided link is related to him/her and possibly hurts one’s reputation. The message conveys a sense of urgency and tricks the victim into clicking the malicious link without thinking.
Now, there are several scenarios of what can happen after clicking such link. It can either take you to a fake website promising you to show a certain video; however, there is no content related to you. However, in order to view the video you were warned about by the virus, you will be asked to install a malicious file or simply a browser extension.
In another scenario, you can be taken to a phishing page that asks to confirm your Facebook login details. Be careful, because these phishing pages transmit all your personal details to scammers who then hack your account and use it for further distribution of the virus.
One of the latest malware versions tries to trick unsuspecting users with a fake Youtube video link, which leads to a malicious web page that mimics the real video streaming platform.
Such code points the victim to an external site that looks like Youtube. However, the phishing website has a different URL and then triggers a pop-up asking to install a suspicious extension (supposedly required to view the content). The extension then attacks all victim’s friends by sending them the same malicious link via Messenger.
The malicious extension (which is known to be hiding under “Ubo” or “One” name) then installs Nemucod malware downloader on the compromised PC. Consequently, the malware downloader drops Locky ransomware on the system, causing complete encryption of personal victim’s data.
Facebook Video virus. The virus is surprisingly similar to the previously described Messenger virus. However, there may be some differences between them. Malicious video virus might not only contact victim’s via Messenger but might also post fraudulent links and content on victim’s timeline. Users find it frustrating as simply deleting these fake posts seems helpless.
In other cases, the posts do not even show up for the victim. The malicious video virus may post deceptive links on victim’s timeline featuring one’s profile picture and a catchy phrase, such as one of the following:
- My Private Video;
- My Video;
- Private Video;
- My First Video;
- [Victim’s name] Video.
If you noticed similar links appearing on your timeline, or if your friends have warned you of it already, it means that there is a malicious program acting on your behalf using your Facebook account. It is important to identify and remove it, as well as revoke permissions for questionable apps connected with your social media account. You can find detailed instructions on how to remove Facebook virus of this type below the article.
Facebook Friend Request virus. The so-called virus covers several deceptive techniques used by criminals to swindle money from the Facebook user or get as many personal details about the victim as possible. If you noticed Facebook sending friend requests automatically, you should know that one or several apps connected with your account have permissions to do so. In such situation, it is best to revoke app permissions for suspicious applications that you started using recently.
If you cannot solve the “Facebook adding friends for me” problem by yourself, please follow the instructions provided below the article to identify and solve the issue causing a headache for you.
Another problem associated with this Facebook virus is an increased number of strangers trying to add you to their friends’ lists. We would like to remind you that adding strangers and allowing them to access your profile as they’re your friends gives them an opportunity to see your photos and certain information that you do not share publicly.
Be aware that scammers can use collected details to create fake copies of your profile and use them to contact your friends asking for money. In addition, the fraudsters might try to sell certain data about you on the dark web. To secure your privacy, change your sharing settings to friends only and not public. Clearly, stay away from strangers trying to become your “friends” on this social network.
Facebook Change Color virus. No, you cannot change the color of your Facebook using any third-party apps. Therefore, try to stay away from deceptive applications that suggest such feature. Some of these programs were identified as fraudulent or even malicious.
First revealed by The Cheetah Mobile CM Security Researcher lab, the scam scheme targets social network users willing to change the color of their online profiles. Clicking on a malicious app called Facebook Color Changer leads to a phishing site. Researchers say that the redirect occurs due to a vulnerability in FB page itself. The malware first suggests viewing a tutorial on how to change the color of Facebook; meanwhile, it steals “Access Tokens” which allow connecting with the victim’s Facebook friends.
In case the victim refuses to view the provided video, the malware attempts to enter the victim’s computer system as a pornography video player (only in case the victim is using PC). In situations when the victim uses an Android device, a deceptive phone antivirus will be presented for the victim. Users infected with this type of malware should scan their devices immediately and change their passwords as soon as possible.
Facebook Stalker virus. It is yet another malicious application that tricks the victim into visiting a malicious website. Deceptive posts usually promise to reveal data related to people viewing your profile frequently, which is fascinating, since the majority of us would like to find out who checks out our profiles often.
Unfortunately, Facebook keeps this secret, and none third-party apps can reveal such information for you. Therefore, programs promising you that should be considered deceptive. You might come across eye-catching posts on Facebook that may contain one of the following catchphrases and lead to FBStalker26.com:
- Fb Stalkers revealed!;
- See who’s viewing your profile;
- WICKED! Now you can see who views your profile… i saw my top profile stalkers, and my ex is still creeping on me everyday;
Keep in mind that interaction with scam sites can lead to sad consequences. NEVER agree to provide any sensitive data, or it will reach scammers who might attempt to use it for illegal means. If your curiosity tricked you into visiting a phishing website or providing app access to one of those “see who’s viewing your profile” type apps, please follow instructions below the post to remove Facebook virus from your device and account completely.
“Your page will be unpublished” virus. The scam first emerged in December 2016. Users of the social media network noticed strange pages appearing with names similar to the ones provided below:
- Team Advert;
- Advert Solution;
- Ads Department Social;
- Advert Indo;
The fake pages pretend to be official Facebook authorities that inform page owners about particular problems. These fake pages repost particular posts from page owners and add a comment, saying that the page will soon be unpublished. In order to prevent it from happening, the victim supposedly has to confirm login details via a provided link. Of course, the link leads to a phishing page that grabs all the info that the victim enters and uses it to hack victim’s account along with the page.
Later on, stolen valuable accounts can be sold on the dark web or used to spread other scams. Typically, scammers hunt for victims who have a lot of likes on their pages, as such pages can be successfully used for scamming people since they look more reputable than unpopular ones.
Keep in mind that the social network never sends relevant information via posts. In case there is a problem with your account or a page that you’re managing, you are going to receive an official notification that will lead you to Facebook Support’s page providing information regarding the problem.
Facebook Ray Ban scam. Dreaming about a pair of pricey Ray-Bans? If so, you shouldn’t get hooked by a scam circulating on the social media network. In 2016, users of Facebook were targeted by scammers who used hacked profiles to share phishing links of fake Ray-Ban online shops offering massive discounts for popular eyewear models.
The hacked profiles were used to share a link to an e-shop and tag a certain amount of victims on it. The fake shops offered incredible discounts as high as 90%. While victims were at risk of losing tens of dollars on fake goods, their bank card details, as well as personal information (name, address, phone number), were at risk, too.
Although the scam seems to be over in 2017, we can’t guarantee that there won’t be similar ones, especially before summer 2018. Therefore, stay vigilant. Experts have already noticed Ray-Ban scammers attacking victims via email.
Congratulations! Your profile has been selected by Facebook! virus. Users who encounter this fake pop-up in their browsers should realize that it does not come from the giant social media network, but rather from an adware program installed on their computers. The message typically reads:
Congratulations! Your profile has been selected by Facebook!
Every Thursday we select one lucky user from [country name] to get an exclusive gift from our sponsors.
As a thank you for your participation, you may select which gift you want to get. It’s that simple!
Note: These gifts may be taken down at any time so act fast.
Below the promising message, you will see a list of so-called gifts such as new iPhones, gift cards, and similar prizes. Keep in mind that clicking “Select” might take you to a phishing site or suggest installing a malicious app on your computer. In other cases, you might be asked to fill in your personal details such as name and e-mail address.
Later on, these can be used to send you spam. The best way to stop these pop-ups from showing up is to scan the system and detect the ad-supported virus that’s bothering you on a daily basis.
Get to know how Facebook viruses spread
In order to protect yourself from scams and malware, you need to familiarize yourself with common techniques scammers use to attack unsuspecting victims. Most of the time, fraudsters use social engineering and phishing techniques to hack social media accounts.
However, you might lose access to your account or at least provide scammers with an opportunity to control your news feed and post or message friends on your behalf after providing specific permissions to deceptive apps on Facebook. In such situations, the victim must revoke app permissions for aggressive applications that previously requested your permission to control your posts and messages.
You can also be infected or hacked by clicking on malicious links that scammers share via the popular social networking platform. Therefore, we suggest avoiding clickbait titles that urge you to click on them and also avoid clicking suspicious shortened links sent by your friends. If that is a friend you trust, ask them whether they actually sent the link. Their account may have been infected, and the message you received is an outcome of it.
In addition, be careful when opening emails sent by strangers. If you ever receive an email asking you to confirm your Facebook login details, page information or your email address,
Remove Facebook virus right away
The instructions provided below will help you to remove Facebook virus manually. There are several methods that apply to different kind of viruses. We have also added a guide on what to do in case your account was hacked or compromised. Please read the given tutorial with caution and contact us in case you have questions regarding Facebook virus removal.
Method 1. Check for suspicious software on your computer
Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), such as adware or browser hijackers can be a reason why your social media account is misbehaving and acting without your knowledge (sharing posts, sending messages to your friends automatically). In addition, installation of such junkware can lead to other problems such as system slowdowns, pop-ups, browser redirects, and so on. Therefore, to remove the virus, you need to do the following:
- Press Windows key + R to open regedit window. Here, type Control Panel and click OK. You can also open Windows Start menu and use the search box to find and open “Control Panel.”
- In Control Panel, find Programs and Features section. You might have to go to Add/Remove Programs if you’re using an older Windows version.
- Here, you will see a list of programs that are currently installed on your PC. Check for unknown/suspicious ones that you cannot remember installing and then uninstall them this way:
- Click the name of a program that seems suspicious;
- Choose Uninstall. Follow the instructions of the program’s uninstall wizard to delete it from your computer completely.
- Wait until the program is deleted and then repeat steps 3.1-3.2 with every suspicious program you can find.
Method 2. Delete suspicious add-ons from each of your browsers
Now, you will need to find and uninstall suspicious extensions from every browser you keep on your computer. Follow these instructions carefully and if you experience any problems, contact us for help. Some browser parasites are modified and harder to remove than others.
- Open Chrome browser and type this line in the address (URL) bar: chrome://extensions. Hit Enter.
- Here, look through the list of extensions installed on Chrome browser. Find the ones that seem suspicious and then click the Trash bin icon next to them. Confirm to delete the extensions that seem strange.
- In addition, you can reset Google Chrome browser. Simply type chrome://settings in the address bar, and then scroll down until you see “Advanced settings” option.
- Click it to expand settings menu. Scroll down until you find “Reset” option. Click it, then once again click Reset to confirm your choice.
- Launch Mozilla Firefox and then type this line in the browser’s address bar: about:addons. Once the page fully loads, click “Extensions” on the left side of the page.
- Here, remove all unwanted extensions.
- Extra step: It is recommended to reset Firefox to wipe up all unwanted changes to settings implemented by the potentially unwanted program. Therefore, in order to complete this task, you should visit about:support page and click on Refresh Firefox… button. Confirm by clicking the same option again in the pop-up window that appears on your screen.
To remove unwanted add-ons from IE, follow the given instructions:
- Open the IE browser. Then find a gear icon in the top right corner of the browser. Click on it, then choose Manage Add-ons option.
- You will now reach a settings panel which allows you to manage add-ons available on your browser. Right-click the suspicious entries and select Disable.
- To reset Internet Explorer, use the same gear icon to access Internet Options. Then go to Advanced tab. Here, click Reset.
If you have Safari browser installed on your computer, you should remove unwanted extensions from it using the provided guidelines:
- Once you launch Safari browser, click on the browser’s name in the top menu bar. Here, choose Preferences.
- Now, navigate to Extensions tab (choose from the list at the top of the Preferences window that appears on your screen). Here, click Uninstall button next to every suspicious extension that you cannot remember installing.
- Consider resetting Safari browser. We strongly recommend using this method:
- Click on Safari menu again and choose Clear History. Select All History Option and confirm by pressing down Clear History button.
- Next, go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced and put a tick on “Show Develop menu in menu bar” option. Now look at the top menu bar again and click on Develop, then choose Empty Caches.
- Restart Safari.
Method 3. Revoke app permissions from questionable FB apps
In the past, you may have allowed several apps access certain information and functions via your profile, and now it is time to prevent them from using these permissions further. Here is what you need to do:
- Log in to your Facebook (ideally, via your browser, not mobile device – this way, it will be easier);
- Click on the little arrow pointing downwards (you can find it in the upper right corner of Facebook, in the blue menu bar) and select Settings.
- Now, choose Apps from the list on your left.
- Here, you will see a lengthy list of apps that you’re logged in with Facebook. Hover your mouse over suspicious ones, and you will see a grey X appearing on them. Click it and then select Remove to prevent the app from accessing your profile and your timeline ever again.
Method 4. Facebook hacked? Secure your account instantly.
If your account was hacked, you should do the following:
- Visit facebook.com/Hacked page.
- Follow the instructions to secure your account.
- If you used the same password that you used for your FB account elsewhere (email, Skype, etc.), change it immediately.
- Make sure that the email used to restore your Facebook password is the correct one. Hackers could have changed it for you!
Norbert Webb is the head of Geek’s Advice team. He is the chief editor of the website who controls the quality of content published. The man also loves reading cybersecurity news, testing new software and sharing his insights on them. Norbert says that following his passion for information technology was one of the best decisions he has ever made. “I don’t feel like working while I’m doing something I love.” However, the geek has other interests, such as snowboarding and traveling.