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  • Stupid is as stupid does

    Posted on September 7th, 2008 Andy Parkes 6 comments

    If you’re on my Facebook friends list you’ll have got this message over the weekend

    Hello All
    If you’ve had a weird message from me (other than this one!) today please delete it
    I got the same message from a friend and while allowing my curiosity to get the better of me i managed to infect myself
    Highly highly embarrassed
    Feel free to message me with abuse

    So I thought I’d explain what I meant when I said I’d allowed my curiosity to get the better of me

    On Saturday morning I got a message from a friend via Facebook. The English was terrible (the subject was – Gt you! Ha-ha, now watch and cr!) and the link certainly looked “dodgy”. I figured my friend had his PC compromised and it was sending messages from his Facebook account

    It was the first time I’d seen this type of malware attack so I thought it might make an interesting blog post so followed the link

    It took me to a page that looked like YouTube (if YouTube was broken!) and I got a message displayed telling me that my flash player needed updating and I was prompted to download a file

    I downloaded the file and uploaded it to VirusTotal for analysis which then identified the file as being the “KoobFace” worm

    Koobface.worm – McAfee

    Win32.Worm.KoobFace.A – Bitdefender

    W32.Koobface.A – Symantec

    Koobface Family – CA

    This was where I made a stupid mistake

    In my attempt to select the file so I could delete it I inadvertently double-clicked the file and it ran

    As you can imagine my language was colourful at this point

    I got a message on screen

    “Error installing Codec. Please contact support”

    Using the information links above I managed to remove the main worm program and a browser add-in it had loaded to Internet Explorer (I’ve since flattened the machine and reloaded best generic for ativan from a backup)

    Unfortunately it had sent messages using my Facebook account by the time I’d cleaned up.

    I didn’t know who exactly it had messaged hence the warning to everyone in my list

    Highly highly embarrassing as there are a lot of IT pros in my friends list!

    Some of you may be thinking,

    “What was your anti-virus doing during all of this?”

    Good question, but I’ve got a little confession

    I’m not running any at the moment

    Just before Vista was released, Jim Allchin (co-president of Microsoft’s platform division) was quoted as saying Vista’s increased security meant he wasn’t running any anti-virus on a PC his 7-year old uses at home (Techweb reported about it here – he changed his viewpoint slightly afterwards)

    When I recently made the switch to Vista 64-bit as I was installing all my usual programs and thought it would be an interesting experiment to run without any anti-virus software (and blog about it here later!)

    I’ve been running without any anti-virus since mid-July. I use some of the well known on-line scanners as well as some offline tools twice a week to check all is ok and until yesterday everything appears to have been fine

    That said all the anti-virus software in the world can’t protect you from being stupid!

    So what have I learnt from this debacle?

    1) It may be a good time to end my experiment

    2) I rarely allow websites to keep me signed in but Facebook had been an exception. I’ll be going back to how I usually run!

    3) If you tell friends it’s ok to abuse you, then they will 🙂

    As a side note it looks like Facebook have been doing some work too. When I now click on the original link Facebook blocks the page with a warning the site is dangerous

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

    Latest posts by Andy Parkes (see all)


    6 Responses to “Stupid is as stupid does”

    1. Bless you mate, we forgive you – as you did provide us with a little chuckle.

      It’s the first example of a virus using Facebook that I’ve come across, interesting stuff (although I’d imagine you weren’t thinking that when it was happening).

      You realise that even if I turned up at the AMITPRO meeting tomorrow dressed as a life-size Eee PC (in pink) though, the jackals in attendance will still be more interested in teasing you about this? 🙂

    2. Did you have the IT manager at LSE on your facebook account?

    3. No i didn’t Gareth, sounds like a bad day there!

      IT manager at the LSE would be an interesting contact to have though 🙂

    4. Hi Rich

      The problem was i did find it interesting

      If i’d just thought,

      “Just another virus….ignore it”

      I wouldn’t have got into the mess!

      I may skip tomorrow’s meeting 😉

    5. Interestingly I had a message on Facebook last week from someone with the Subject Title “Morning” and just a URL in it. I thought it was just a little odd and past it by without clicking. Possibly connected I suppose.


    6. […] to say my “Andy is stupid and has infected his own computer with a virus though it’s a worm if you want to… post didn’t quite get the same amount of visits…it did get more comments […]

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