When Facebook says that your computer is infected with malware

A couple of years ago, Facebook announced that it would start working with some antivirus companies to help people protect their computers. Since then, a system has been in operation that, upon detecting suspicious interaction between the computer and Facebook, issues a security warning.

The message that appears on the web page is similar to the following image, it is a checkpoint that does not allow you to continue until the computer is cleaned:

Facebook Message: Your Computer Needs to Be Cleaned

In the next step, Facebook offers the download a free tool for users to install and perform a scan for malware. They even recommend using it if you already have another antivirus installed or a similar program.

The companies they work with are F-Secure, Trend Micro, Eset and Kaspersky for now:

Facebook invites you to download an antivirus

According to a publication made by Facebook's security team in June last year, since they launched this protection system they have helped clean up more than 2 million computers that were infected while connecting to Facebook.

The initiative is good given that many malwares take advantage of social networks to spread, either by stealing access data or by installing themselves in a hidden way in the browser or the system. And this is how some infections actually become very viral by spreading among known people.

The problem with these notifications that Facebook shows is that generate a lot of mistrustIn fact, these captures were sent to me by a computer friend who was not entirely sure if they were real or not.

They are very similar to an attempt at deception or social engineering similar to that used by fake antivirus programs so that victims end up installing them. It won't even be strange for cybercriminals to emulate this format of warnings to infect or deceive Facebook users with fake downloads like pay per install and the like.

To avoid confusion, it would be better if Facebook itself offered to carry out an online scan without the need for third-party downloads, or better yet, make a redirect to a help page where the situation is better explained, since it takes most of the users by surprise. users.

Cleaning cookies and time to exit this checkpoint:

On my friend's computer, the Facebook warning appeared only when trying to access it from the Chrome browser, from Firefox or the mobile device it was possible to log in without problems.

His computer was also clean, it did not have suspicious extensions in the browser and the tool that was downloaded did not detect any problems. The solution in the end was simple, it was enough to clean the cookies and temporary files of the browser so that everything returned to normal.

The warning was then triggered by some temporary file that was in the browser and Facebook classified it as malware.

However, your account was temporarily blocked, for example, you cannot send links via chat from any device, and a message appears that says ‘Action not available at this time‘. This limitation should only be kept for a few days for security reasons and then disappear.

Update: a couple of days later my friend's account already allows sending links through chat.