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Issue 115 - June 2011 - Page 7

Dislike Button Virotrex Virus Warning

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Outline
Message circulating on Facebook warns users not to click on links about a Dislike Button, because doing so will install a virus called Virotrex that will steal private information from the infected computer.



Brief Analysis
It is certainly true that Facebook users should not click on any links about a Dislike Button. Such Dislike Button messages are scams designed to trick users into launching malicious JavaScript, installing rogue applications and/or participating in bogus surveys. However, these threats are not viruses. Moreover, there are no credible reports about a virus named "Virotrex ".

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 18th May 2011
First published: 18th May 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
ATTENTION FACEBOOK USERS: If anyone posts a status to your wall saying anything about a dislike button, DO NOT CLICK IT ! It installs a virus called Virotrex which is used to redeem passwords and other sorts of information. RE-POST THIS TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE !

Virotrex Virus warning on Facebook




Detailed Analysis
This message, which is circulating rapidly around Facebook, warns users not to click on links in posts about a dislike button. According to the message, clicking these links will launch the Virotrex virus, which once installed, can steal passwords and other information from the infected computer. The message exhorts users to repost the information to help keep other users safe.

The advise in the message not to follow links pertaining to a dislike button is certainly worth heeding. Scammers are currently using the promise of Facebook Dislike Buttons as a means of enticing victims. In fact, there is no official Facebook Dislike Button and any message offering such a button is almost certainly a scam. In May 2011, a new Dislike Button scam attack saw many Facebook users tricked into pasting a JavaScript into their browser address bar. This tactic ensured that the Dislike Button spam message was sent automatically to all of the user's friends. Typically, victims were then moved on to scam websites that hosted bogus surveys, promotions or "offers" which tried to trick them into submitting personal information, signing up for expensive SMS services or downloading spyware. Similar Dislike Button survey scams have been targeting Facebook users for a year or more.

Thus, it is certainly true that Facebook users should be very cautious of any messages about supposed Dislike Buttons, even if they come from friends.

However, the claim in the warning that clicking the Dislike Button links will install a virus called "Virotrex" is inaccurate and misleading. Firstly, there are no credible reports that describe a virus named "Virotrex". Secondly, the Dislike Button scams are not viruses. In fact, the current batch of Dislike Button scams exploit security holes via malicious JavaScript. Thirdly, the behaviour described in the warning - presumably by "redeem passwords and other sorts of information" the author of the message meant that such information could be collected and sent to scammers - is that of a trojan threat, not a virus. It appears that someone has simply made up the name "Virotrex" and combined it with a warning about the Dislike Button scam.

Because this warning contains information about a non-existent virus, and does not specify how such scams actually work, its value as a warning is questionable. To be of much use, security warnings need to be accurate, up-to-date and contain enough information to enable recipients to know how to effectively deal with the threat described if it should come their way.

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References
Dislike Button' Scam Targets Facebook Users



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Issue 115 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Inaccurate Message Claims That Missing Joplin Tornado Kids at Children's Mercy, KC
  2. Hotmail Account Deactivation Phishing Scam
  3. Fake Virus Warning - Do Not Add 'Howard Hertzberg' Because Its a Virus
  4. Exer-Hide Dog Chew Warning Message
  5. Video Showing Man Taken by Killer Whale
  6. Picture of Huge King Brown Snake in Branxton NSW
  7. Dislike Button Virotrex Virus Warning
  8. Facebook Page Hacker Warning Message - "Visit The New Facebook" Links
  9. Dueling Banjos Hoax
  10. Advance Fee Scam - Prince William and Princess Catherine Worldwide Galore Promotion
  11. UPS Uniforms Hoax
  12. Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs After Pakistan Floods
  13. ABSA Phishing Scam Emails
  14. Osama Bin Laden Virus Emails
  15. FBI 'You Visit Illegal Websites' Malware Email
  16. HM Revenue & Customs Income Tax Repayment Phishing Scam
  17. Facebook Virus Warning - BBC Video Of Bin Laden Killing
  18. Pointless Warning Message - Facebook About to Become Owner of Your Private Photos
  19. Unfounded Facebook Rumour- Bob Howard Pedophile Warning