Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Sophos: Facebook's Christmas Tree virus is a hoax

Sophos says it has seen no evidence that such a malware app exists

Article comments

Security vendor Sophos says Facebook users can relax and stop warning each other about a supposed computer crashing Christmas tree-themed app disguised as a virus since the whole thing is just a hoax.

Thousands of Facebook users have raced in recent days to rescue friends by posting warnings of  "one of the WORST Trojan viruses" out there, but Sophos says it has seen no evidence that such a malware-bearing app exists (not that one couldn't be concocted). Sophos says the warnings of this non-existent app actually appear to have traveled faster than past warnings of real threats.

"Users believe they're doing the right thing when they share warnings like this - but unfortunately they haven't checked their facts," writes Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Sophos, on the company's blog

Cluley also takes a poke at Geek Squad, which is cited by Facebook users as a source warning of the Christmas Tree app. "[S]ince when was Geek Squad a reliable source for information about new malware? Wouldn't you be more sensible to check with an established anti-virus company?"

Cluley notes that there was a real Christmas tree virus back in the late 1980s that did infect machines on IBM's internal network and other networks.

All of this isn't to say Facebook doesn't continue to be a huge hacker target. Facebook flaws that have enabled private chats to go public, among other things, have security watchers like Sophos keeping close tabs on the social network site. Facebook early this year announced a partnership with McAfee in an attempt to clamp down on threats and more recently announced new security features, including support for one-time passwords that can be useful when accessing Facebook accounts from public computers. 



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *