Facebook virus or harmless fun? '{Hilarious} Check out how this girls status update got her fired from her job!'

Filed Under: Facebook, Malware, Social networks

You're fired!
After a weekend of fast-spreading clickjacking exploits and sneaky sexy videos on the social network, it's no surprise that Facebook users are worried right now about anything they see being shared rapidly between their online friends.

This morning I'm being asked by a number of Facebook users whether a page called

{HILARIOUS} Check out how this girls STATUS UPDATE got her FIRED from her job!

is safe or not.

It's certainly been popular. The messages have appeared on over 130,000 Facebook users' news feeds so far:

{HILARIOUS} Check out how this girls STATUS UPDATE got her FIRED from her job!

If you click on the link on your friend's Facebook news feed and visit the Facebook page, you are presented with the following message:

The Facebook page

Please click on the "Like" button above to how a girl is fired from her job by her boss because of her facebook status update!

{There are no surveys or links to click - the photo appears as soon as you click 'Like'}

And there lies the trick. In order to see the funny message, you need to "like" the page. And "liking" the page recommends it to all of your Facebook friends, who may equally be tempted to visit the page and click "Like" too.

So, is this malicious? Well, I've seen nothing malicious about it so far. You visit the page, you agree to "like" it, and it displays an image (which I've included below so you don't have to become a fan of the page yourself).

The image is hosted on a third party website - and displays a dialogue between an aggrieved worker and her boss.

From that point of view - everyone can stand down from red alert. Any "viral" spreading that it is doing, it is achieving with the wishes of the users who are "liking" the page.

But I still have some concerns. People are rushing to become fans (by "liking" this page) with no ideas as to its origins or intentions. If the Facebook page fell into the hands of someone malicious, they could easily use it to send an update (such as a dangerous link pointing to a Trojan horse or phishing site) to over a hundred thousand people.

Showing some care over which Facebook pages you decide to "like" may pay dividends, by exposing you to less threats in the future.

Don't be quick to follow the herd, and "like" a page just because it promises a funny joke or because hundreds of thousands of other people have. Instead, educate yourself about the risks on Facebook and make informed decisions.

More than that, the image is hosted on a third party website. A hacker could decide to change the image at any time with something which was either offensive or malicious.

Here's the image, so you don't have to "like" the page. It isn't even a new joke, by the way. This particular story has been spreading across the internet since at least August 2009.

{HILARIOUS} Check out how this girls STATUS UPDATE got her FIRED from her job!

If you're a regular user of Facebook, you should join the Sophos page on Facebook to be kept informed of the latest security threats.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.