Virus Snafu

Flu VirusGoing way back on this one and admitting a mistake but giving some good advice, especially in light of the season, the economy and a lot of things I have seen of late. So this goes back to December of 2008 sometime and it has been sitting here awaiting for my oh so wonderful attention to become a post here in this blog (why is that as I say this, I am flashing imagines of “I am just a Bill” from School House Rock in my head replacing the world bill with post and/or blog?). So the short version, be careful and pay attention to the sources and what you are doing and be asked.

Long version of the same story, a friend asked me about something at the time they had received from a friend of theirs on Facebook. The general message was something like check out this video of you and me doing something. Maybe it was implied that it was something you should have been doing and maybe it was just a video of you. I don’t recall the exact specifics of it at this point. The important parts though are that it come from a friend and seemed on the service to be a legit link or file of a flash video.

Given the nature of such things, it should have been immediately clear to me what was up, but I think I quickly buzzed past the question of this is from a friend of yours, that you trust, and that would potentially send you a video – all of which I think were answered affirmatively (yeah, this is the reason a person should write these kind of things in a little bit more timely fashion then almost a year away from the occurrence of the event – details).

So it was not opening. To the rescue I thought, this is easy. The error message was saying that the flash player needed to be updated. Easy enough I thought, we will just update it. I did not pay close attention though, as I was focused on about five things at the time. So I clicked on the update without paying attention to where it was being directed too. A half second to late I realized it was directing to a NON adobe site for the download. Clearly this little tool was a devious embedded spam piece with Facebook and I had, through deep cognitive powers made it run when it would not have otherwise.

The short end to this is of course it spammed out to random folks on Facebook. Realizing exactly what happened I sent those folks a quick follow-up saying to totally disregard and ignore it.

Lessons learned:

  1. Pay attention to where downloads on updates are pointed to, only accept them from the appropriate source (in this case Flash is an Adobe product, also in this case, I really knew this one)
  2. Just because it looks like it comes from a friend it does not really mean it came from them. This especially true right now, as the latest phishing expedition is the I lost my cell phone and wallet send me money to someplace foreign from an actual friend.
  3. If you are a bit up there on the geek scale, especially keep in mind your access to override annoying messages or have them turned off, as you normally are paying attention to what you are doing.

** – not sure where the picture came from, again, let me know and I gladly credit it; by the way Lucy said “that is a cute little picture isn’t it, I like that cute little thing, it is pretty” – she is right on!