Security experts have once again warned social media users that their computers could be at risk from a new Facebook virus.
The latest warning comes from security firm CheckPoint and highlights a virus known as Locky which takes advantage of a flaw in the way some images are processed on social media – with Facebook and LinkedIn being particularly vulnerable.
Locky works by exploiting this flaw which forces user to download a malicious image file.
Once opened the file carries out a ransomware attack, shutting the victim out of their own device and encrypts all of their files
The user is then told that the only way that they can regain access is by paying a ransom – hence the name ransomware.
It appears that social media sites are often targeted by hackers as they are ‘whitelisted’ by many security firms.
The reason that they are whitelisted is because they are so popular which then of course puts more people at risk.
The fact that these sites are whitelisted means that many users are more trusting, which in turn, means that scams can spread quicker.
CheckPoint claim that they told both LinkedIn and Facebook about the scam in September although Facebook claim that the information supplied by CheckPoint was ‘incorrect’.
Facebook were quick to push the blame onto a new extension in Google Chrome which they claim that they have now reported.
CheckPoint advises all users to avoid opening any image files or message attachment with unusual file formats.
If you have already opened the attachment and your browser has downloaded another file, then whatever you do, do not open it.
Also make sure you anti virus software is up to date.