How to Kill a Facebook Spam Bot

A website application knows it has achieved maximum popularity and dazzling success when it begins experiencing withering attacks from viruses. If that’s true, then 7-year-old Facebook has arrived.

According to computer threat experts at Kapersky Labs, there are nearly 340,000 different strains or “signatures” of computer viruses roving wild on the Internet today.

Facebook is now so popular that it too is a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs. Facebook users are reporting widespread attacks including email “bot” SPAM operations, fake alert attacks, phishing gambits, and theft of Facebook account login information and credit card numbers. Many Facebook members may not notice anything amiss and, worse, they may believe they are already using a superior anti-virus product.

Facebook is responding to this growing threat as best it can. In January of 2010, Facebook announced it was initiating a radical security protocol: members may have to show “proof of inoculation” before Facebook will allow them to log in. Facebook Project Manager Jake Brill reports the network may soon block members whose computers have not “scanned clean” recently.

If you suspect you have already been victimized by a Facebook virus, log onto your Facebook account and radically change your password immediately, Brill advises. Then, clean up.

Fortunately, removing a virus that has already taken root on your computer will require only a few tools and an hour or two scanning time. But avoiding repeated infections in the future will require new Facebook, and web-surfing, habits.