New Gifts For You virus warning spreads on Facebook

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks, SophosLabs

Many Facebook messages are spreading a warning to each other about a "virus" which is said to be spreading via the social networking system.

Warning about the New Gifts for You Facebook virus

A typical message reads:

THERE IS A VIRUS GOING THROUGH OUR COMMENTS. IT WILL START SENDING LINKS IN YOUR NAME. IT SAYS "I KNOW YOU WILL LIKE THIS" OR "LOOKING FOR SOME FUN". THEN IT HAS A PAGE LINK SAYING "NEW GIFTS FOR YOU". DO NOT OPEN THIS LINK. THEY ARE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE!! PLEASE COPY and put on your status and HELP WARN those in your circle!!

There are plenty of folks raising awareness of the so-called "New Gifts For You" virus, but so far I haven't seen any evidence that the threat actually exists.

It's possible that this is just a scare that has got out of hand - with users spreading a well-intentioned warning to each other based upon a rogue application that has long been shut down by the-powers-that-be at Facebook.

As such, it could be argued that the warning is now a bigger problem (and certainly spreading more quickly) than any "virus" which may have inspired it.

As always, Facebook users are advised to think twice about what links they click on and applications that they grant access to run - even if they appear to have been endorsed by an online friend. If you want to learn more about the latest security threats on Facebook, join the Sophos page.

By the way, the real Facebook Gift Shop closed at the beginning of August 2010.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a 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.