Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Item for today is "Another Way to Lose Your Identity."

Well, as you'd expect, the bad guys have found another way to launch an attack against us.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Users of the popular social Web site Facebook are being warned that a computer virus is being spread through a well-disguised e-mail masquerading as a video from a friend.

The site boasts over 60 million registered users, including many employees at KATU.

Reporter Dan Tilkin recently registered on the site on the advice of friends and co-workers and received what he thought was a friendly e-mail from a former producer.

A link in the e-mail led him to a Web site that appeared to play a video and prompted him to update his computer's software to see the video.

However, the download was a virus instead.

It's not clear exactly what the virus does, but it should be assumed the purpose is malicious. A computer virus is also commonly referred to as "malware," which is short for "malicious software."

Many viruses scour a computer for personal information including banking and credit card information and then send it out of the country where hackers use it steal funds from the victim.

A virus can also turn a computer into a "zombie" and help to spread the virus to other computers or launch Denial of Service attacks on Web sites without the owner realizing what is taking place.

Computer experts warn users never to download any file with an ".exe" prefix sent from anyone, even if they are a friend, and to carefully monitor what page your browser lands on.

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