Linda Smith / Jason Lee Facebook virus hoax spreads quickly

Filed Under: Facebook, Malware, Social networks, Spam

They may have the best of intentions, but Facebook users who are spreading a warning about a supposed virus across the social network are actually not helping anyone at all.

Messages being shared across Facebook warn users not to add as a Facebook friend people called "Linda Smith" or "Jason Lee".

ATTENTION **ALL FACEBOOK USERS**..DO NOT ADD *LINDA SMITH*,ALSO IF SOMEBODY CALLED *JASON LEE*

ATTENTION **ALL FACEBOOK USERS**..DO NOT ADD *LINDA SMITH*,ALSO IF SOMEBODY CALLED *JASON LEE*,ADDS YOU,DON'T ACCEPT..IT IS A VIRUS.TELL EVERYBODY,BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM,YOU GET THE VIRUS TOO.***COPY AND PASTE AND PLEASE RE POST******THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY FACEBOOK

The truth is that this is a hoax, spread by well-intentioned individuals who think they're doing others a favour by posting or forwarding the warning so other users can read it. It's just the latest example of the many hoaxes we have seen spreading over the internet for some years.

I mean, just think about it - is a warning to not add someone called "Linda Smith" or "Jason Lee" really that helpful anyway? Just imagine how many people have names like that!

And the warning claims that Facebook themselves have confirmed the threat. If that's the case, where has Facebook confirmed it? Why is there no link in the warning where people can discover more about the threat?

Remember to always get your computer security advice from a computer security company. Friends may be well-intentioned in passing on warnings, but it's always good to check your facts before forwarding them any further.

If you want to learn about the real threats on Facebook you should join the Sophos Facebook page, where we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening social network users.

Thanks to Naked Security reader Thelma who first brought this chainletter to our attention.

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11 Responses to Linda Smith / Jason Lee Facebook virus hoax spreads quickly

  1. Ed Truitt · 1266 days ago

    "Remember to always get your computer security advice from a computer security company. Friends may be well-intentioned in passing on warnings..."

    Of course, if said friends happen to work in the computer security business...

    ~EdT.

  2. Lola · 1260 days ago

    Plus if facebook confirmed it, wouldn't they remove the people from facebook?! I mean that would make sense.

    • also, there is alot of people named linda smith, it's too vague. and you get a virus from accepting a friend request

  3. Kimberly · 1241 days ago

    My mom posted that status, and and almost immediately someone named Jason lee liked her status and the computer shut itself off. It now will not turn back on. If it's such a hoax, explain that, please?

  4. Will · 1238 days ago

    People just fail at common sense...

    "BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM,YOU GET THE VIRUS TOO." Well that would mean that since "facebook" confirmed (lol sure they did) that means a couple of people had added them, which means pretty much everyone on facebook would now have this virus.

    This hoax is nothing new, I seen this in 1998 circulating in my hotmail inbox warning me not to open emails from 2 hotmail address' or add them to msn, and if any of my friends add them I'll magically get the virus too.

  5. In one of these messages it actually referred to Sophos

  6. Mel · 1141 days ago

    What/who can you trust anymore, telling the truth or not telling the truth. We should learn that from our politicians!

  7. Wayne Tallaksen · 1119 days ago

    Last week on FB I had a friend request from Linda Smith. I tried to look at her page before I added her, and saw she was from a part of Canada where I have Family. So I added her and went back to access her full page. When I did, it would not load and my computer frose. I had to hold the power buton to get shut down. Something is up with the Linda Smith request on fb

  8. lynn savage · 1042 days ago

    I also find it HIGHLY offensive too when someone posts this nonsense in ALL CAPS besides the ridiculousness of the post to begin with.....and Wayne clean out your damn pc that's probably why it froze not because of someone you added......come on really?

  9. Thelma · 742 days ago

    Here's a new variation going around today on facebook.

    W A R N I N G :::: DO NOT ADD *RAQUEL CRITELLI*, KELLY HARGROVE, ALSO IF SOMEBODY CALLED *KELLY HARGROVE* ADDS YOU, DON’T ACCEPT… IT IS A VIRUS. TELL EVERYBODY, BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM, YOU GET THE VIRUS TOO. **COPY AND PASTE AND PLEASE RE POST* THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY FACEBOOK AND SNOPES Raquel Critelli is in fact Kelly Hargrove’s account .. it was just confirmed ...it is a hacker account.!!! Pass this on people, spread the warnings please !!!!!!!! repost to your family and friends !!!!!!!!

  10. Felicity Merriman · 569 days ago

    In a somewhat different case, fake "Linda Smith" profiles are sprouting like mushrooms using a picture of a Caucasian woman wearing a bra. All these faux profiles do is to join in a group and link to a disreputable shoe store via a rogue Facebook app used as a gateway page.

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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.