Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility
I’m seeing an aggressive chat virus on Facebook this morning.
The virus is propagated by hacking a user account and then taking over the chat utility within Facebook. The virus then accesses the user’s friends list and begins initiating chats with the user’s friends. The chat begins with a prompt to check out a link, ostensibly to a video or a story, without any set up or other typical conversational opener.
If you see a chat window like this opening in your Facebook window, beware!
Close the window immediately. Opening the link will only infect your Facebook account and allow the virus to propagate to your own friends.
One of the more aggressive features of this virus is that it initiates the chat multiple times in an attempt to get friends to open the link. This is fairly unusual.
Because this virus is so aggressive, it is important to do your best to stop it.
Rather than just ignoring the chat, you should close it and then send a direct message to the person whose account was hacked. Alert them to the virus and ask them to change their password.