Kareful! Koobface kould katch your komputer

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

While there are many things I’d like for Christmas (a Taser, a bottle of Drambuie, George Clooney’s phone number), the one thing I don’t want is a munted computer.

According to Symantec Security Response, the Koobface gang is as busy as Santa’s little helpers just in time for the start of the festive season.  Koobface, an anagram of Facebook, is a worm that targets Facebook users.

What does that mean? I’m glad you asked: it means there’s a nasty campaign out there that involves messages on Facebook profiles that link to fake Facebook pages or fake video pages.

Go to these fake pages and you’ll be offered a file by the name of setup.exe. Don’t drink the Kool Aid, or accept the file for that matter. Much like Jim Jones and his Kool Aid, nothing good can come of it.

The fake Facebook postings are along the lines of: “I caant ffall asleepp affter viewwing thiss videeo. I haventt seenn aanything liike this”, and will generally link to a page containing Christmas-themed video. But beware of geeks bearing gifts, all you will get for your trouble is, well, trouble.

Oh, and if it says the file is a free antivirus that will protect you from Koobface, don’t believe it.

Tiger Woods is also being used to push some net nasties, with the lowlifes jumping on his current bout of notbeingabletokeepitinhispants-itis to market some scareware. This involves using the huge amount of publicity his little indiscretions have generated to their advantage.

Some search results will redirect to malicious domains where users are then taken through a fake system scan that supposedly detects a bunch of errors and threats and advises the poor sucker to buy some dodgy software to remove non-existent threats.

Righty-ho, after all this potential nastiness, how about something a little lighter and brighter? How about the story of the bloke who forgot to return his DVDs to Blockbuster and Megan the Blockbuster employee?

The exchange of emails and ideas between them was a thing of beauty and after much discussion about ending the war between fish and mankind, seventies jumpsuits, the lack of robots in romantic comedies and the beeping noise fridges make when left open, David finally found and returned his late movies.

A Hollywood scriptwriter couldn’t have done a better job.

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