Did Facebook Give me a Virus?

Facebook told QueenPendragon that her PC was infected. The message looked very much like rogue malware trying to trick her into downloading something vicious. She asked the forum for advice.

I have to admit that when I first read QueenPendragon's story, I assumed she caught a rogue.

I was wrong. The message actually came from Facebook.

You'll be happy to know that Facebook doesn't intentionally infect your PC, or scan your hard drive looking for malware. (Why should they? They already know so much about you.) But Facebook does look for suspicious behavior in how you access the social networking site. For instance, if you appear to be sending out a great many messages in a short amount of time, there's reason to believe that a botnet is sending them out through your computer.

In those situations, Facebook may block your access to protect other users, and recommend you scan your hard drive.

The company has a legitimate concern. Remember the ? You'd get a message through Facebook, appearing to be from a friend, trying to get you to play a particular video. Only the video wouldn't play until you updated Flash. And that "Flash Update" turned your PC into a botnet-controlled zombie. Obviously, it's in Facebook's interest to keep that from happening.