How to identify and remove social network virus off your devices

Identify malicious content on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The frequency with which viruses appear on social network platforms has increased as well as the dangerousness of these malicious programs. Most viruses found on Twitter, for example, are spread at an accelerated rate through links attached on tweets that offer discounts or some kind of user-alluring software, according to cybersecurity and ethical hacking specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security.

Problems begin when someone clicks on one of these links, as they may bring adware, spyware or some variant of ransomware to the user’s device. Here are some tips from cybersecurity specialists to keep you safe from this kind of threats.

Methods of virus distribution in social networks

The main way of distributing this kind of malicious software is through posts, tweets, etc., which contain attached links. For example, a tweet can be posted by any Twitter account or sent as a direct message (DM) to some unsuspecting users. These posts usually try to attract users with messages such as those shown below:

  • Did you know that Google is hiring people to work from home? Sounds good, don’t you think? {malicious link}
  • Sign up and download this incredible app – available only for today: {malicious link}
  • I just discovered the stalkers in my profile: {malicious link}
  • WOW! You can see who visits your TWITTER profile!: {malicious link}

According to experts in cybersecurity, the web links most used to spread viruses turn out to be random and shortened URLs, such as:

  • Bit.ly links
  • Vid.me links
  • Adf.ly links
  • TinyURL sites

These sites are used to shorten URLs and are not risky by themselves, but often hackers use them to hide some variant of virus and deploy it through malicious links, adding JavaScript and creating links with automatic downloads.

Types of viruses in social network platforms

According to experts in cybersecurity, there are several problems that a user can face after clicking on some malicious link. Some examples are shown below.

Phishing sites

False login pages, surveys, or fake retailers sites, are different kinds of phishing, one of the most commonly used cyberattack techniques today. Out of the different types of phishing, the most widespread is the one that announces the website of some store with the purpose of deceiving the user to enter his personal information in a fake site. The image of companies like Ray-Ban and Nike is widely used in this kind of attacks.

Malicious links

Another major threat to the use of social networks is malware infection. These links could redirect the user to a site to download and autorun a malware file (drive-by downloads), with the risk of infecting your system with some malicious software variant such as:

  • Cryptocurrency mining virus
  • Ransomware
  • Trojans
  • Botnets

Recently, a gigantic botnet was discovered using more than 3 million of fake Twitter accounts and 100k bots distributing links across the web.

Fake technical support sites

One of the most used variants. Sometimes a link embedded in a Facebook post or a tweet can redirect the user to a page that claims that the user’s computer is not working.

The attackers try to convince the user to call a fake technical support phone, from where the fake support employee will ask the user for sensitive information, or even access to their equipment. It is recommended not to call those numbers under any circumstances.

Remove social network viruses

Cybersecurity specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security recommend that, before beginning to remove a virus, users must back up their information. Subsequently, the user must follow the recommendations listed below:

  • Start your PC in safe mode to isolate and delete any files and malicious objects
  • Find files created by social network viruses on your PC

If it doesn’t work, it’s recommended to use advanced anti-malware scanning software, so you can automatically remove any malware-related files found on the various social networking platforms.

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