Farmville White Gift Box Virus Warning Hoax
OutlineFacebook message warns Farmville players not to open a white gift box surrounded by blue lace because it is a virus.
Brief AnalysisThe message is a hoax. There are no credible references to a virus or malware threat that has the characteristics of the one described in this message. Versions of the warning have circulated since mid 2010. Reposting this warning will help no one.
ATTENTION EVERY FARMVILLE NEIGHBOR - THERE IS A WHITE GIFT BOX ...surrounded by a blue lace. It says "someone has sent you a gift" ... IT ISN'T BEING SENT BY FARMVILLE !!! IT'S A VIRUS!!! PLEASE DO NOT OPEN.. PLEASE COPY A PASTE THIS ON YOUR WALL SO THAT WE CAN ALL PROTECT EACH OTHER...........Very important KEEP IT GOING
According to yet another breathless warning that is rocketing around social network Facebook, Farmville players should watch out for a white gift box surrounded by blue lace because it is a virus. The message warns that the gift does not come from Farmville and asks that users repost the information to alert other Farmville players.
However, the warning does not describe a genuine virus threat and should not be taken seriously. There is no information about such a threat listed on any reputable computer security or anti-virus resource except for articles that question the warning's veracity. While the above warning has been reposted countless times across Facebook and other social media sites, there are no credible reports whatsoever about anyone actually encountering an instance of this supposed virus. Moreover, equally unsubstantiated versions of the warning have been circulating since at least June 2010. It is not credible to suggest that, in all that time, such a virus threat would have completely escaped the attention of all of the major anti-virus and computer security vendors. Thus, in short, the message is just another pointless hoax and it certainly should not be reposted.
Of course, cybercriminals use many ruses to entice the unsuspecting into visiting sites or opening attachments that contain malware. In other cases, they may try to trick people into divulging personal and financial information by following links to phishing scam sites. Certainly, all Internet users, including those who play Farmville, should be cautious of following links or opening attachments in unsolicited messages.
However, reposting false virus warnings such as this one will serve only to clutter social networks with even more utterly useless information. Before reposting any virus warning in any format, it is important to take the time to check that the warning is valid, accurate and up-to-date. In fact, sending on false, misleading or outdated computer security warnings is likely to be counterproductive in that genuine alerts may get hopelessly lost in the seemingly endless sea of hyperventilating, ALL CAPS nonsense inundating our social networks.
Last updated: 5th September 2011
First published: 5th September 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen