Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #206 6/26/2013

Question: What is the Zeus Facebook virus?


The Zeus virus is not new. It has been around since 2007 and is a Trojan virus.

The virus was created by a group in Russia, however numerous others have updated it since to do work for those groups. Once it is on your machine it just sits there doing nothing until you go to do online banking, which is why it is a Trojan. Then it picks up your account information and password to then get your money from your bank account to the Trojan developers..

The way you get this Trojan on your PC is by clicking on a link either in an email (the original way) or on a message in Facebook (the way that has appeared in the last year) or from what appears to be an ad in either. It then installs the Trojan on your computer.

There are several ways to prevent this virus.

The first is do not click on links in emails or Facebook messages or make sure the link goes somewhere you recognize. If someone had sent you a link to pictures at Shutterfly and you hover over it and it starts as we.wanttosteal.com/shutterfly/pictures (an address I just created, could be anything weird) then it is not there pictures. If it was going to Shutterfly it would be shutterfly.com although may have their name and a period before Shutterfly such as dwightwatt.shutterfly.com You can always highlight the link, right click and choose copy then go to WordPad or Notepad and paste there and see what the link is. If it is one you want to go to you can then copy it from there and paste in the address area of your browser.

The second is make sure your definitions/signatures on your anti-virus and anti-spyware software are always up to date and the program is up to date. With new variations of the Trojan coming out regularly your program will need the latest definitions to be able to catch all of them. Anti-virus products such as Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast, Symantec Norton and AVG can all detect and remove it. The other major anti-virus programs will also. There appears to be a problem with Zone Alarm with Zeus and that it sees and may claim your anti-virus will not catch it. Remember ZoneAlarm is a firewall and will detect programs or people trying to get in your computer but is not an anti-virus program. I personally prefer other firewalls better than I do ZoneAlarm, although ZoneAlarm is one of the oldest.

If you suspect you have Zeus or any other virus or malware, make sure your anti-virus program and signatures/definitions are up to date (update function in most of them). Then run a full computer scan using the software. If you want to even check a little further (usually not necessary) run the full scan in Safe Mode also.

Zeus so far has only infected Windows computers and not computers using other operating systems. However that does not mean the people who modify and then release updated versions will not make it run on Linux or Mac or Android or whatever.

Thanks Judy for the question