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Sophos warns of Christmas tree app virus hoax on Facebook

November 2010 by Sophos

Sophos is advising Facebook users not to share a fake virus, warning that is circulating quickly on the site. The warning is against a Christmas tree app and although anyone could at any time create a rogue application with this name, Sophos is not aware of any malware which currently uses this disguise.

Typical messages that are being shared widely on Facebook read:

"WARNING!!!!!!.....DO NOT USE THE Christmas tree app. on Facebook. Please be advised it will crash your computer. Geek squad says it’s one of the WORST trojan-viruses there is and it is spreading quickly. Re-post and let your friends know. THANKS PLEASE REPOST!"

"It is likely that this hoax will spread much faster than any of the genuine commonly encountered Facebook viruses at the moment," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Please don’t share virus warnings with your online friends until you have checked them with a credible source (such as an established computer security company). Malware can be killed off fairly easily, but misinformation like this can live on for months, if not years, because people believe they are ’doing the right thing’ by sharing the warning with their friends."

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