Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is "Christmas tree app" a Destructive Trojan Virus - - Analysis and Reality of Facebook Message Requested to be Re-posted

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A rapidly circulating message on Facebook warns users not to install the "Christmas tree app" because it is a destructive Trojan virus.

In fact, the warning is invalid and should not be re-posted. The message is a hoax. There is no virus or Trojan like the one described in the message.

Let's have a look to the message posted on the Facebook:


WARNING!!! DO NOT LOAD the Christmas tree app. It will crash your computer. Geeksquad says it's one of the WORST trojan viruses there is and it is spreading quickly. Please re-post and let your friends know ....


Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this warning message that is currently circulating rapidly around social network Facebook, users should be careful not to install a Facebook application called "Christmas tree" because it is a "trojan virus". The message warns that the app has been identified by Geeksquad as one of the worst trojan viruses ever and is spreading quickly. It asks users to re-post the warning so that others will know about the supposed threat.

However, the claims in the message are untrue. There is no computer security threat like the one described in the warning. In fact, the warning is just one more in a long line of utterly pointless virus hoaxes that have circulated for years, at first mainly via email and more lately via social networking as well.

Sophos security expert Graham Cluley has denounced the warning as a hoax, noting in a recent blog post:
Thousands of Facebook users are warning each other about a Christmas Tree virus said to be spreading in the form of a rogue application on the social network.

The only problem with this warning? It's utterly bogus.
Moreover, Geeksquad, the entity listed in the bogus warning message as having identified the supposed threat, has denied any involvement, noting in an alert on its website:
In actuality, Geek Squad has not officially investigated this particular application, nor have we identified it as the source of any infections in any cases we have supported.
And the supposed threat is not listed on any reputable computer security site other than those that identify it as a hoax.

In fact, there are a number of Facebook applications that have the words"Christmas Tree" in their names. However, at this time, none appear to pose any security threat to users, certainly not the destructive "trojan virus", discussed in the warning message. Certainly, as with all things Facebook, users should use due caution when following links or installing applications. It is even possible that someone will, at some point, actually create a rogue Facebook application that masquerades as a Christmas tree.

But that vague possibility does nothing whatsoever to justify the continued spread of this nonsensical warning message. It is important that Facebook users check the veracity of the information they send on via reputable sources. Re-posting such pointless nonsense will certainly do nothing to help. In fact, continued re-posting of such misinformation only adds to the pointless clutter already inundating Facebook. Ironically, because they spread so rapidly and cause so much unnecessary confusion and alarm, such bogus virus warnings often become as much of a nuisance as real computer viruses or worms.

If you receive this hoax message, please do not pass it on to others. And please take a moment to let the original poster know that the information in the warning is false.

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