BEWARE! World War III report is a Facebook scam

Have you got a Facebook alert claiming that US has attacked Iran, Saudi Arabia in a bid to start World War III? Do not open it because the report is actually a computer virus disguised as a breaking news alert.

| Updated on: Feb 08 2012, 17:20 IST

A new virus scam is circulating on Facebook that tricks people into downloading malware by asking them to open a fake CNN report about World War III.

The story, using CNN logos, offer video footage of a breaking news story, but says users need to upgrade their Flash video software to watch.

The fake news page says that US attacks Iran and Saudi Arabia, and begins of World War III.

When users 'upgrade', their PC gets infected with a trojan.

Videos are often used as 'bait', because computer users are used to upgrading video software such as Flash, so installing software does not set off alarm bells.

Security experts Sophos reported at least 60,000 people have already fallen victim, The Daily Mail reports.

"Naked Security has seen a worrying number of Facebook users posting the same status messages today, claiming that the United States has attacked Iran and Saudi Arabia in a move heralding the beginning of World War 3," said Graham Cluley of Sophos' Naked Security blog.

"Within the first three hours of this malware campaign, some 60,000 Facebook users had been duped into visiting the malicious link," Cluley added.

Cluley pointed out that it''s possible that malicious code on users' computers is sending the message to Facebook without users knowing.

"To be on the safe side, you should scan your computer with up-to-date anti-virus software and ensure you have the latest security patches in place," he added.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 08 Feb, 14:18 IST