IT Consulting and Tech Support Blog

World War III Facebook Scam

The fake news headline uses CNN mastheads and asks users to upgrade their video software to watch footage of the outbreak of "World War III".

If you’ve recently been alerted the sudden outbreak of WWIII, don’t worry. It’s not true. But, you probably now have a computer virus. A fake news page saying “US attacks Iran and Saudi Arabia, the beginning of World War 3” is the latest virus scam to circulate on Facebook. The fake story uses CNN’s logos, and appears to offer video footage of a breaking news story, but says users need to upgrade their Flash video software to watch.

When a user attempts to “upgrade” they in fact infect their PC with a Trojan virus. Security firm Sophos reports that within the first three hours of this malware campaign some 60,000 Facebook users had been duped into visiting the malicious link. Cyber criminals have begun using fake news headlines to lure in victims on social networks such as Facebook. Videos are often used as “bait”, because computer users are used to upgrading video software such as Flash, so installing software does not seem out of the ordinary. It’s highly recommended that you should scan your computer with up-to-date anti-virus software and ensure you have the latest security patches installed for your software e.g. Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Java etc.

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