Facebook rebuts ZoneAlarm virus claims

Note: ZoneAlarm has issued a correction to their original claims. This blog has been edited to reflect the changes.


What do Facebook and porn sites have in common? They can expose users to malware.


Facebook users are targeted, according to this ZoneAlarm logo.

Web security company ZoneAlarm said initially that 20 percent of Facebook newsfeed links open a computer virus, but later changed it’s infographic to say 20 percent of Facebook users are exposed to malware. That’s a pretty big change.

As I said in my original post, I don’t think it’s possible that 1 in 5 Facebook links are infected. People would be leaving Facebook in droves.

I use Facebook extensively when I should be working, and I’ve never had a problem and I use Windows XP, not the safest OS on the planet. Mac and Linux users are much safer, since most viruses are written to exploit infamous Windows exploits.

ZoneAlarm also said 600,000 Facebook users are compromised each day, which sounds like a pandemic. Of course, ZoneAlarm is trying to sell web security products, so maybe we should take their data with a lick of salt.

CNET dug a little deeper and it seems ZoneAlarm’s numbers are not accurate.

“While we welcome all responsible third-party research, ZoneAlarm, as with all AV Vendors, have the incentive to exaggerate threats on FB and we just want to ensure that all information is factual,” said a Facebook spokesperson in an email.

* Protect yourself against online scams at Facecrooks.

31 comments Add your comment


January 5th, 2012
1:48 pm

first….i hope!

Hey rob

January 5th, 2012
2:21 pm

Loser…for sure


January 5th, 2012
3:52 pm

which paper of the three big ones always has “first!” posts – sure as hell isn’t CL or ABC. whats funnier is that it seems to be encouraged


January 5th, 2012
4:01 pm


January 5th, 2012
4:05 pm

I use facebook almost every day. But I never go to any apps or games even when requests are sent by friends to join them. I stay strictly on the main pages and have never had a problem.


January 5th, 2012
4:12 pm

I’m with you Bobby. I never get on there except to check messages. Don’t play any games at all.


January 5th, 2012
4:12 pm

Where am I ?


January 5th, 2012
4:18 pm

I think they’re specifically referencing the links posted by friends. If so, I agree. Many of these links place pornographic pictures on your wall or take over your email account to send out spam under your name. I’ve seen this happen countless times to my friends. I’ve warned many that was getting emails selling vitamins and other supplements under there name.

My neice who is a nice Christian girl had some of the worst porno posted on her wall simply because the clicked on a link sent to her by one of her friends who didn’t know it was a virus.

Be careful on Facebook!

On My Way

January 5th, 2012
4:27 pm

Got hit once by a virus but it was my fault. Received a come hither picture that I clicked on to see more. Learned my lesson on that one.

george your an idiot

January 5th, 2012
4:31 pm

George, your an idiot. The majority of all viruses come from ‘Trusted’ sites like CNN, AOL, and Facebook. What better way to compromise dopes like you while at work than place a well formed attack within an ‘Add’ on a trusted site. When fools like you mistakenly click on a banner add, whammy. These sites are visited millions upon millions of times per day, and all it takes is a small percentage of users to knowingly or mistakenly click on a ‘mashed up’ add. Just because you are at work, use XP, MacOs, or any other OS doesn’t really matter. So please, do not misguide the general public with your obvious lack of understanding of how viruses and such are spread. Instead, go ahead click through all the banner adds, and mashed up adds on Facebook while at work, and enjoy living with the inevitable consequences.


January 5th, 2012
4:34 pm

How does this affect the Dawgs’ 2012 recruiting class?

Honky Talkin

January 5th, 2012
4:34 pm

Anus-Fruitshake porn sites are the best way to get a virus.


January 5th, 2012
4:52 pm

Don’t call people an idiot, when you can’t spell “you’re”

Circle R

January 5th, 2012
5:01 pm

Thank you, Hack! I hate that too, especially when the poster is calling someone else’s intelligence into question!

Jesus Christ

January 5th, 2012
5:29 pm

Anyone that uses Facebook is an insecure moron and deserves to get a virus and a sexually transmitted disease.

Facebag forever...

January 5th, 2012
5:41 pm

george your an idiot

Hey “george your an idiot”…it should be “you’re”…so whose the idiot?


January 5th, 2012
5:59 pm

I don’t, won’t, never will do fraudbook. It was destined to happen. I’ll bet Microsoft is happy the foolbook came along…takes the scam focus off of them for a while.

Plus, who freakin cares about keeping in touch with someone that you wouldn’t give your phone number to in the first place…that is why you lost touch in the first place. If you don’t want to call them or for them to call you, who freakin cares?

computer store owner

January 5th, 2012
6:02 pm

It’s true. Facebook sends a lot of business our way from all of the viruses. No kidding. I warn my clients about the risks of visiting facebook.


January 5th, 2012
6:11 pm

Facebag forever… while you’re at it, learn the difference between who’s and whose… illiterates preaching to illiterates…


January 5th, 2012
6:11 pm

I don’t trust any ads on any site. Google and Yahoo do not screen criminals from their ad streams. I’m sure Facebook does not either. I’ve had news sites spam my email too. Who can you trust? Nobody really. I don’t use Facebook at all.


January 5th, 2012
6:14 pm

It is so funny when grammar policeturn on each other.

Get a Life...

January 5th, 2012
6:18 pm

Lemme guess. You have 212 “friends”. Facebook and other social networking sites are a waste of time and energy. (Of course, Marky Z. wants you to keep drinking the kool-aid while he runs all the way to the bank!)


January 5th, 2012
6:19 pm

That’s great, so now we get our news from losers that “extensively use facebook” when they should be working. Great job.

[...] 800 million monthly active users, …Infographic: Cyber Criminals Target FacebookPC MagazineReport: Facebook infested with PC virusesAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 3 news [...]

p f

January 5th, 2012
6:39 pm

The main viruses are those youtube link ones. They install the virus koobface on your computer. NEVER post a video, and NEVER click on one posted.


January 5th, 2012
7:27 pm

Wise up and buy a Mac.

1st Idiot

January 5th, 2012
8:01 pm

Yep, you are Rob.


January 5th, 2012
8:05 pm


Try Linux

January 5th, 2012
8:26 pm

Fought horrible viruses for years on WinXP, usually my kids surfing game sites would get us infected. I spent hours every week trying to clean them up. Then I set up all my computers that they use for the internet to run Ubuntu. No more viruses! Easy to install, easy GUI, works flawlessly! I have all that time to do other things now!


January 5th, 2012
8:41 pm

Spend a few dollars on a good antivirus program and update it every day, it will save you a world of grief.

[...] but perhaps people searching for a source to cite will encounter this blog post (or indeed this one which looks at the spam data) and avoid promulgating misleading data the way that Zonealarm has [...]