The TRUTH About The Koobface/Knob Face Worm
This warning message is circulating rapidly around social networking website, Facebook. According to the message, a “Trojan worm” by the name of “Knob Face” is “spreading like wildfire” on Facebook. The message warns Facebook users not to open links about a supposed “Barack Obama Clinton scandal”. It also warns users not to add a user named “Smartgirl 15” to their contact list. Supposedly, “Smartgirl 15” is actually a virus and adding “it” to your contact list will infect your computer along with the computers of all your contacts.
However, this warning contains false information and is highly misleading. The warning is apparently a mutated and invalid derivative of warnings concerning a genuine computer security threat known as “Koobface”, an anagram of “Facebook”. Some earlier versions of the warning do refer to “Koobface” rather than “Knob Face”. However, even those versions that correctly name the threat get the rest of the information so fundamentally wrong that the warning is virtually useless as a means of informing users about the real Koobface worm.
There are no credible reports that suggest that Koobface is currently being distributed via links pertaining to a supposed scandal involving Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. In reality, the Koobface worm users a variety of tactics to fool social networkers into downloading malware, not just links pertaining to one particular subject such as a political scandal. Some strains of this worm, which target users of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and other social networking websites, send out messages that invite recipients to click a link to view a video. Those who clicked the link may be taken to a bogus website that claims that they must update a plugin or other component in their browser before they can view the video. However, the supposed update actually installs a worm that can login to the user’s social networking accounts via information stored in cookies and automatically send more bogus invitations to the user’s friends. Koobface is an ongoing threat that is likely to continue evolving and targeting Facebook users and other social networkers for some time to come.
Moreover, the information about a supposed virus disguised as a user with the name “Smartgirl 15” has no basis in fact. The “Smartgirl 15” warning is just one more in a long line of absurd hoaxes that claim that you can allow a hacker or a virus on to your computer just by adding a specified name to your contact list. From time to time some prankster simply adds a new username or email address to the hoax and sends it on. As the following older version reveals, these silly hoaxes use very similar phrasing and make the same bogus claims:
if somebody called Cobie_mutch_60 adds u to dont accept it. Its a virus. Tell everyone on u r msn coz if somebody on r list adds them u get the virus too. copy and paste it to everyone AND fast
The supposed threats described in these hoaxes are technically impossible. The messages suggest that just accepting a person as a “friend” on your contact list will give the virus access to your computer along with the computers of everyone else on your list as well. This is total nonsense. The messages imply that the username itself is a virus. This is not possible. To be infected, some sort of file transfer needs to take place. If an account was configured to automatically accept files from a contact list, then it is possible that a virus could be sent by this new and sinister “contact”. But even if the virus was sent in this way, the recipient would still have to explicitly open the file before a computer was infected.
Another misleading claim in the “Knob Face” warning is that the “virus” will shut down the infected computer. However, disabling the compromised computer is certainly not the goal of the criminals who distribute the real Koobface. Their goal is to use the infected computer to spread the worm to other users, create ongoing connections with other compromised computers, download other malware components and display advertisements on the compromised computers via hijacked search queries. Thus, these criminals are not about to shut down infected computers and thereby make them inaccessible.
Thus, spreading this garbled and inaccurate “warning” will serve only to spread misinformation and confusion among social network users. Certainly Koobface is real, along with many other security threats that target Facebookers. However, the inaccuracies and falsehoods contained in this “Knob Face” message mean that it has no merit or validity as a warning whatsoever and should not be reposted.
I’ve seen several friends post the bogus warning on their status update in a vain attempt to help keep others from getting this worm. I understand their desire to help, but the best way too keep from looking like a fool is to do research before blindly reposting a status update. I should know. I have been fooled before. 🙂
I’ve also soon too many friends fall victim to this and similar worms. Every time I see a post or email that is suspect, I research it before clicking on a link. Then, to try and help my friends, I will post links or comments to help the person realize that they’ve been hacked and how. Some appreciate the gesture. Others resent it.
Please be careful what links and pages you click on. But if you want to help others not get hacked, find articles like this one to help them out rather than reposting a grossly misinformed status update.
My Resume as of 4/3/2011
Even before the show debuted, attorneys and legal experts claimed that, because polygamy is illegal in the United States, the Browns could potentially have opened themselves up to criminal prosecution through their involvement in the series. Video footage of a marriage ceremony between Kody Brown and Robyn Sullivan could be used as evidence against them if subpoenaed by state attorney general of Utah. Kody Brown has claimed the family is breaking no laws because only the first marriage is a legal marriage, while the others are simply commitments. However, experts claim the fact that the family has been a unit for 16 years and includes children from all three wives could lead prosecutors to characterize the non-marriage unions as common-law marriages. Sullivan said the family was worried about legal repercussions and had discussed the matter thoroughly, but decided the positive effects their show could have toward the public perception of polygamy was worth the risks. In anticipation of legal scrutiny, the producers of the show contacted the Utah Attorney General’s office months before the series was broadcast. The office has not ruled out pursuing a case against the Brown family, but also stated they do not have the resources to go after polygamists unless they suspected serious crime such as child abuse or child trafficking. Prior to the Sister Wives premiere, it had been nine years since anyone in Utah had been prosecuted for practicing polygamy.
On September 27, 2010, the day after Sister Wives debuted, police in Lehi, Utah, announced they are investigating Kody Brown and his wives for possible charges of bigamy, a third-degree felony, which carries a possible penalty of 20 years in prison for Kody and up to five years in prison for each wife. Once the investigation concluded, the police turned their evidence over to the Utah County Attorney’s office for review. Despite the fact that Brown is only legally married to one woman, Lehi police have noted that state code identifies bigamy through cohabitation, not just legal marriage contracts. In response to the investigation, the Browns released a statement: “We are disappointed in the announcement of an investigation, but when we decided to do this show, we knew there would be risks. But for the sake of our family, and most importantly, our kids, we felt it was a risk worth taking.” The Brown family hired constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley, a vocal critic of anti-polygamy laws, to prepare a legal defense in the event that charges are filed. As a result of the series and legal scrutiny that came with it, Meri lost her job in the mental health industry shortly after Sister Wives debuted, even though her employer knew about the polygamist marriage before the show aired. Additionally, Kody said the show negatively affected some of his advertising sales, with some clients opting to take their business elsewhere due to publicity from the show.
I’ve missed several episodes of this show, but in a conversation with a friend on facebook I decided to read up on the series.
I knew they’d had legal trouble, but I wasn’t sure why.
- I agree with Kody’s assessment of the situation. They only have one documented marriage. Apparently, though, the state also has “common law” based on cohabitation and the birth of children from such a committed union. I wonder, though, would Utah consider it common law if three grown men were living with Kody and his first wife?
- Why is polygamy illegal? I get why child abuse and child trafficking are illegal. But it’s not just polygamists that commit those crimes, and saying ALL polygamists commit those crimes is similar to saying ALL Arabics are terrorists, ALL women are catty bitches, ALL blondes are stupid, or ALL dogs have fleas.
Just as Adam and Steve’s nuptials in no way effect the lives of anyone else but Adam and Steve, so is there no effect from the joining of Kody and all four of his wives in matrimony.
The United States Government, the states, the counties, and the municipalities need to stay out of the marriage beds of US citizens.
All parties consenting (which means of sound mind and body and of an age of understanding) ANYONE should be able to marry who they wish (or to not marry, such as the case may be).
What is your favorite Ford F-Series truck?