Facebook Worm ScreenshotGareth Roberts, a new member of the team here at NETucation,  alerted me to a new computer worm that attacks Facebook and MySpace users. One very important piece of information left out of most of the news reports on News24 or MyADSL is that ONLY on users running Microsoft Windows are prone to this attract. Facebook users receives links to download the worm via Inbox messages from infected users while links are posted in MySpace commentaries when infected MySpace users log into their account. Current variant of the worm is faked as a codec installer named as codecsetup.exe. When the worm is ran, a dialog box will pop up with the message “Error installing Codec. Please contact support“.

These days I use an Apple Macbook Pro (thanks Google.org!) running the Mac OS X operating system that is substantially more secure than MS Windows. The most important thing to remember with your computer security is to avoid clicking on anything unfamiliar or that you do not understand. Delete suspicious emails on sight and ask your ISP to enable spam filtering before those emails even get to your computer or laptop. In 99% of the cases you won’t miss a thing…

Yes, this may sound like a paranoid approach to conducting your on. However, all computer viruses or worms have spread exactly because Internet users have been gullible. The explosion in use of social networking websites was always going to create new outlets for th creators of computer viruses or worms. Facebook has over 90 million active users and MySpace has over 240 million profiles and most of these people are brand new to the Internet. When something is a novelty you are bound to click on almost anything. What has impressed me the most about the social networking phenomenon is how quickly users are adapting and learning from group behaviour.

According to McAfee this is a low risk virus so you should not panic. However, its important to look at this screenshot and this other one, so you know what to avoid. If you are sick and tired of the vicious upgrade and update cycle on Microsoft Windows why not try Ubuntu Linux.