Avoiding sketchy attachments on Facebook may sound like common sense, but all it takes is a few people to fall for a dumb scam before it spreads like wildfire. Something called the "LOL virus" is making the rounds on Facebook, so-called because of the short message that accompanies a nasty piece of malware.
Online security site VPN Creative discovered the scheme, which is simple enough. An unsuspecting user receives a message from a friend (possibly one he or she hasn't contacted in a while) stating "LOL" and bearing a ZIP file attachment usually labeled "Photo" or "IMG."
Anyone who's ever been the victim of a Facebook scam knows what happens next. The attachment is not a collection of funny pictures, but rather an executable piece of Java malware. The program downloads more malicious code from Dropbox, steals your Facebook login information and starts cluttering up your system with dangerous software.
Once the program has access to your Facebook login credentials, it will begin sending out the LOL message and malicious attachment under your name. If you have a few hundred friends, at least one of them will install it, and the vicious cycle will continue.
Luckily, the LOL malware is not especially novel or clever, and takes nothing more than a rudimentary malware scan to remove. If you have antivirus software running, there's a good chance it will block the download. That said, if you do contract the malware, your best bet is to run a scan and change your Facebook login information as soon as possible.
The LOL malware is just the latest in a long line of Facebook scams that will only end when users learn not to open strange or suspicious attachments. If you see it, delete the message and let your friend know as soon as possible that he or she may have been infected.
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