Facebook ‘Virus’ Poses as Video; Has Infected 800,000 Accounts

August 28, 2013 7:20 pm Last Updated: July 18, 2015 5:19 pm

At least 800,000 Facebook accounts have been infected by a fast-spreading piece of malware that pretends to be a video, according to security researchers.

The New York Times, citing a team of Italian security researchers, reported that the malware affects both your Facebook account and your web browser

The malware appears shows up in a link in your e-mail or Facebook message, saying that a person tagged you in a post. However, when one clicks on the link, it sends them to another website that asks you to download another browser extension or plug-in.

The Times reported that the malware–after it’s been downloaded–then can gain access to anything that a user has stored in their browser such as passwords or user information.

Carlo de Micheli, one of the Italian researchers, told the Times that there have been 40,000 new cases of attacks each hour.

Google has disabled browser extensions that enable the attack. The attack mainly focused on users with the Chrome browser.

Facebook said it would remove the trap links set up by the malware.

“In the meantime, we have been blocking people from clicking through the links and have reported the bad browser extensions to the appropriate parties. We believe only a small percentage of our users were affected by this issue, and we are currently working with them to ensure that they’ve removed the bad browser extension,” Michael Kirkland, a Facebook spokesman, told DailyPressDot.com.