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Issue 147 - February 2013 (1st Edition) - Page 14

Who Will Be Your Valentine Virus Warning

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A warning is spreading on Facebook claiming that posts are spreading relating to ‘seeing who your Valentine will be’ that actually harbor a virus.

Brief Analysis
Any time an app on Facebook unexpectedly posts to the users friends without the user initiating the post, there will always be somebody who jumps to the conclusion that it’s a virus. This is a good illustration of why users should actually read those permissions, as the user had to actively grant the app permission to do exactly what they are complaining about.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: January 18, 2013
First published: January 18, 2013
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Written and researched by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer

Valentine App

Detailed Analysis
As can be seen in the image above, the “My Valentine 2013” app requests some fairly intrusive permissions. 'Access to basic information’ is standard operating procedure for any app – most apps have to access some level of information to work. Even the ‘post on my behalf’ is not especially troubling. Again – standard operating procedure for most apps. Once it moves into accessing photos and accessing the inbox, however, the trouble antenna should be quivering a bit. And that is just the first step.

After the app is installed, it will send the same invitation the user received to all the user’s friends. The fact that an app sends out invitations doesn’t make it malicious. But every time any app starts sending out mass requests users go into panic mode and send out the misleading virus 'warning' messages. Being spammy does not make something a virus.

These warnings also completely fail to offer the most helpful advice to follow should you find your page being littered by this sort of app invite. If you’re getting these invites and don’t want to see it ever again, block the app – simply go to the App Center (look on the left hand side of the newsfeed), click Requests and where you see the invite click the ‘x’ in the upper right corner and block the application.

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Issue 147 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Does Rubbing Vicks VapourRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
  2. FedEx Incorrect Delivery Address Malware Email
  3. Mickey Rourke Did NOT Die in A Snowboard Accident
  4. Facebook 'Pirates' Fraud Warning
  5. Spurious First Aid Advice - Flour For Treatment of Burns
  6. Kate Curry Missing Child Alert - Kate Has Now Been Found
  7. Circulating Post Recommends Wasp Spray As A Substitute for Pepper Spray
  8. Love Desire Facebook Group 'Virus' Warning
  9. Coconut Crab Photographs
  10. St.George Bank Phishing Scam Emails
  11. Facebook Trialling Option to Pay to Directly Inbox Non-Friends
  12. Sylvester Stallone is NOT Dead
  13. Shared Photo Request To Identify Cat Killers
  14. Who Will Be Your Valentine Virus Warning
  15. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on May (or March) 15, 2013
  16. Lead in Lipstick Alert - Cancer Causing Lipstick Hoax
  17. Blackberry 'Broadcast or Update Cancelled' Hoax
  18. Bogus Telstra 'Email Bill' Carries Malware
  19. Google Street View and the Donkey
  20. Interesting Old Human Formation Pictures