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The Persuader

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If Facebook says you have malware, do not download their program—here’s a way around it

You are currently browsing comments. If you would like to return to the full story, you can read the full entry here: “If Facebook says you have malware, do not download their program—here’s a way around it”.

Filed under: China, internet, technology, USA—Jack Yan @ 23.46

265 Responses to ‘If Facebook says you have malware, do not download their program—here’s a way around it’

  1. Karen L Tolfree says:

    Michelle, me too! It’s not that the games are slower, its like the computer is always thinking. It’s heated up twice where it turned itself off. I’ve run virus and malware and there’s nothing there.

  2. Jack Yan says:

    Karen, I wonder if there are additional Facebook processes now running from the Windows 10 app. Are you able to look at your Task Manager and see if there’s anything from Facebook there? Though I suspect they will have buried anything deep inside the computer as they did with the “malware scanner” on mine.

  3. Karen L Tolfree says:

    Morning Jack, I just looked and the only thing running with Facebook is the gameroom. That never went out when FB wouldn’t let me sign in. Wierd, but now I can install a Windows 10 upgrade, it shuts the computer off and when I turn in back on, it tells me it’s restoring my previous version of Windows. The upgrade was 1703. I spoke to Microsoft and they said it wasn’t compatible with my computer, because its 3 years old. That really doesn’t make sense to me. So for the past 3 days, it takes me more than one hour to get the computer running because when I turn it off at night it downloads the latest version of Windows, and when I turn it back on in the morning it says working on upgrades. What a mess, just a new way for me to buy a computer. Frustrating.

  4. Jack Yan says:

    Interesting, Karen, I never played games on Facebook so it’s not one I’m familiar with. But my thinking is that nothing from Facebook should be running if you hadn’t loaded it up.
       The Windows 10 upgrade process is terrible, though we can point our collective fingers there at Microsoft for releasing a lemon. I have a laptop that was basically on factory settings, and it will not upgrade from the original Windows 10 from two years ago (after over 35 attempts). I have seen brand-new machines at computer shops that have failed to upgrade—and they didn’t even have anything installed apart from the standard stuff! They would be no more than months old.
       Windows bricked the computer I am typing to you on now, and it had to go to the shop for repairs just so I could turn it on. All told, this one needed 11 attempts—I said it was called Windows 10 because upgrading takes more than 10 goes. But I went through exactly what you are describing now.
       Therefore, three years is not old, even with the pace of technology if there are new machines at shops that this upgrade is incompatible. The Microsoft rep is lying to you.
       What appeared to have worked on my computer was removing the antivirus completely. However, I tried this on around the seventh attempt and it didn’t work. It only worked on the 11th. Once it upgraded, I instantly put the program back on.
       Now this has happened to you, I wonder if the Facebook stuff messed things up under the hood. There’ll be a Windows 10 forum somewhere where someone has had exactly the same issue though. I went to the Microsoft one and there were plenty; however, the advice from Microsoft techs is usually poor, and you have to be there for a long time to find a good one who gives you real advice and not copy-and-paste solutions.

  5. Karen L Tolfree says:

    I agree, and hate turning off the computer as it will take 90 minutes to start up when I turn it on. Also, the Microsoft rep said, “they will not be charging be for the help.” Too bad their help didn’t work at all. I got in touch with them 2 times and nothing worked. The second rep told me it was my computer. The upgrade that can’t be installed is 1703. We as consumers can do absolutely nothing about how these upgrades are destroying out circuitry.

  6. Jack Yan says:

    Jennifer, it really seems this Facebook forced download is hitting people regardless of their use of the site (heavy or light, political or apolitical, left or right). I hope you are back in there and that you didn’t have to download their program. Also, see if you can try altering your headers (it’s in one of the comments), though it hasn’t worked universally.

  7. Jack Yan says:

    Hi Karen, the help on the Microsoft forums is generally poor, though I haven’t tried calling them. My most recent one was about Cortana unable to do currency conversions. Their suggestion was to reset Windows (that’s where you lose all your programs). I explained that the bug happens with all computers, not just mine, and asked why resetting mine would fix this. They dodge the hard questions and keep copying and pasting stuff that does not work. I imagine the phone people work off the same script. I think it is possible to file suit—a woman in the US did that when Windows 10 was forced on her and disrupted her business because of all its bugs—though for most of us it’s probably easier to stay away from the lawyers.
       Do you have a very computer-savvy friend who could help with a friendly rate? I understand you can upgrade using a USB and a few other methods, but I have never looked into them in any depth.

  8. Karen L Tolfree says:

    Hi Jack, this morning turned on the computer and no installation notice but a NEW icon on my desktop Windows 10 Media. It wasn’t there last night, magically appeared this morning. Well, I click it and at the moment as I write this it is creating Windows 10 media and its only at 20% and it says “Feel free to use your computer.” I can’t help but wonder if Microsoft is following our conversations on your blog. Will let you know what happens if it installs correctly. Realize its nighttime in NZ, but have a great day.

  9. Jack Yan says:

    Hi Karen, Microsoft does have some level of monitoring up since Windows 10 was launched and you have to go into the settings to turn them off (whereas I think they should be turned off by default and we get asked to turn them on). How did things go overnight with your PC?

  10. Karen L Tolfree says:

    Morning Jack, it’s not showing the update your computer anymore. Seems to be okay, will now have to go knock on wood. I wonder if the others who posted previously on here have had any problems with Windows and if they’ve gotten back on Facebook. Have a good day.

  11. Roberta Perez says:

    Hi Jack,
    I am experiencing this hell now but only on Chrome I guess because
    I use it all the time. I can use FB on Firefox and Explorer Edge
    but they are so slow,that is why I use Chrome. I can’t log on at
    all unless I download their “cleaner”. Here is what they are telling me :Let’s Check Your Device for Malicious Software
    Hi Roberta, we’re continuously working to keep your account secure. We’ve noticed that this device may be infected with malicious software. To continue to use Facebook, you can either use other devices or clean this device by downloading the scanner provided by Facebook and Trend Micro.
    I wish it would go away but no such luck.
    Thanks for whatever help you can give me.

  12. Jack Yan says:

    Thank you for your comment, Roberta—if you want a fast browser, Brave is probably the quickest out there, but it has very few extensions compared with Chrome. But if extensions don’t matter then maybe downloading that and using it will get round this problem. I take it you’ve tried deleting your cookies (note this could also delete your passwords or existing access to sites and you will have to feed in your log-in details again)? If you must use Chrome, one of the comments discusses how to modify your headers—some people have not tried this as it looks too technical but it appears to be the most reliable way to bypass Facebook’s demand that you download its questionable software.

  13. Jack Yan says:

    Thank goodness, Karen, I hope everything has settled down with Windows. I seem to recall when I was going through this that the update attempt will recur in about a month. I know there are dozens of complaints on the Microsoft forums about the updates, though none about Facebook’s questionable activities.

  14. Karen L Tolfree says:

    Roberta, don’t let FB scan your computer. After a month, I could get on it, but now they block my posts and the excuse is “it looks like spam.”
    Once again, everything they blocked is from others, sent to me, but lean towards the right. They will post lies and ‘fake’ news from the left, but if you don’t agree with them they manage to get you.

  15. TommyD says:

    Just got the same notice. About five minutes before, I tried posting a link, as a comment, on someone’s post. FB refused to let me post the link, saying it may be unsafe. Just theorizing that this is what triggered my “invitation” to download their scanner.

    Guess I’ll wait it out.

  16. Jack Yan says:

    This is interesting, in light of Kaspersky deleting my questions about their dodgy collaboration with Facebook, and trying to put hidden software on our computers: http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/technology/kaspersky-lab-israel-russia-hacking.html. I issued a press release this week dealing with this topic, too, but so far most media have ignored it.

  17. Jack Yan says:

    Tommy, it’s very likely that’s what happened. And yet these links are usually safe. When it hit me, Facebook wouldn’t let me post links to McAfee. If you need to get on sooner, there are a couple of techniques posted earlier, but they do require some technical expertise.

  18. Jack Yan says:

    Thank you, Karen—I think this supports the theory that the databases are buggy as heck. I’ve heard from one friend in Germany who cannot work with Instagram properly today. It’s been OK here. It’ll be related to what you and I have experienced, I believe, but on a far wider scale. And these bugs will keep increasing in frequency.

  19. Karen L Tolfree says:

    When I think of it, it’s really sad that we as “intelligent” human beings are so addicted to all of the social media out there. My FB time has decreased significantly since I first wrote you. I don’t have Instagram or Twitter, and from I’ve seen with others it’s like being hooked on heroin or cocaine. They can’t stop.

  20. Sandy Anderson says:

    Referring to Karen’s article, I had a few minutes of outage on Facebook yesterday. Of course because of my experiences this summer, I was afraid I was going to get the dreaded “malware message” again though it didn’t start out the same — just a white screen.
    I shut it off for a while and then went back and checked and all was well. Either just my FB server down or perhaps part of this worldwide thing that Karen’s article described.

  21. Victoria Teunissen says:

    Add me to the list of folks that are steaming cuz they cant get on facebook till we allow facebook to scan our computers for ‘malware’. The invasion of privacy is ridiculous. How is it they have been getting away with this for so long? It has been 6 days and I am locked out on the desktop version. I can access through my phone still but who knows how long that will stay up?

  22. Jack Yan says:

    I wish I knew why this hasn’t been investigated, Victoria, and why it isn’t all over the media. Looking back, Facebook has been doing this “scanner” for many years and there has not been a single article looking in to what exactly it does. What we do know is that what Facebook claims it is, and what it actually is, are two different things, since so many of us have shown that these computers are not infected with malware. I issued a press release earlier this month and only one media outlet ran it. Yet Kaspersky is embroiled in US media stories about spying. You’d think it would be timely, but evidently the media don’t.

  23. Karen L Tolfree says:

    Victoria, whatever you do, do not let Facebook scan your computer. A notice should go out to everyone on Facebook about this. It will come back, mine took over a month. I was able to access FB through Edge, but really enjoyed the time away from it. Now I don’t go on it much. The notifications come and if you play games you can access them through Facebook gameroom.

  24. wayne dolly says:

    My wife had the problem with being locked out and needed to use facebook scan instead I found that her short cut and bookmark for facebook had been changed so I just told her to type in http://www.facebook.com and it let her in with bo problem

  25. Sharon A. says:

    Don’t do it!!! lt has NOTHING to do with your computer, NO MATTER WHAT Facebook is telling you. This message came up yesterday at work on my computer. After calling our IT department, they came and said DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS. Also, the IT person was able to log onto Facebook from my computer without getting the error message. So that tells me Facebook HAS BLOCKED MY ACCOUNT…PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!! After getting home from work, again after trying to log onto Facebook, the same message appeared, however, when my husband, who is also an IT person who also owns his own web hosting business, he too was able to log onto Facebook on the very same computer with NO the warning message and NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER!!!!! This is a scam THAT SOMEONE AT Facebook IS DOING TO BLOCK PEOPLE WHO THEY DON’T LIKE WHAT THEIR POSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sounds like they want to install something on my account so they can track my posts!!!!!!!!!!! SHAMEFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Shawn says:

    Curious as to how many people facing this issue are conservatives or got this after posting conservative views? I am and it happened right after having a fact based discussion on climate change, no swearing or otherwise breaking the terms of service, just a rational fact based discussion.

  27. Jack Yan says:

    I’m a centrist, which by American standards makes me a liberal, so I don’t think it’s to do with your political slant. I know one other person in the comments is a liberal and another is a conservative. Also remember this is happening on a global level. My suspicion still falls on Facebook’s databases being completely screwy, which is why we see so many instances of others being able to use Facebook on an “infected” computer without issue.

  28. Thom says:

    I also just got victimized by this Facebook scan thing. I don’t know what really happened, I’m just chatting with one of my client when suddenly my chats weren’t appearing anymore. After refreshing my browser, Facebook logs me out and when i try to login again, it says that my device may be affected by some malwares / viruses and force me to download ESET to scan my computer. But i refuse to do so! ‘coz it seems that there is something wrong. I tried to login my girlfriend’s account on the same computer that i’m using and it has no problem, no notice, no bullsh*t thing about malware issue! Upon reading some of the comments above, maybe i would just wait until it fixes itself. I have no problem using Facebook on my android device so maybe i’ll stick to it for the mean time..

  29. Karen Lee Tolfree says:

    Welcome to our world. It took my computer a month before I could log in. I don’t spend much time on it anymore. It has its perks.

  30. Kika says:

    Well I ran into this today and I know exactly what happened to me to trigger the warning. I play a few games on FB and one of them has been in trouble with FB lately – all the posts get marked as spam about once a week, removed from players’ timelines, then get put back when the game’s devs get on FB’s case about it.

    Sometimes when they do this, some people can get into the game and others cannot. Up until today, I was one of the “can play” people. However, this morning I went to play and got a “this link is malicious!” warning (about 20 minutes before they “fixed” it for the week, of course). Immediately after, I was told I had to download their scanner (which I refuse to do).

    Interestingly, I could log into FB from my phone as well as my son’s computer with no issue. I figured there had to be some other solution out there and eventually I stumbled upon this page. I tried the modifying header trick above and that seems to work for the moment (Chrome extension version). I turned it off to see if I could get to the non-mobile games (yes) and FB hasn’t kicked me out yet so I’m hopeful. So, thanks for the help!

  31. Jack Yan says:

    Thank you for commenting, Kika, and for letting us know that the header change worked for you!

  32. Kika says:

    Turns out it’s a partial fix – I tried to post a link and got a notification that “one” of my devices was logged in and potentially had malware so I won’t be fully able to use FB for another 2 days and 16 hours (at the time I tried). They did have a mostly hidden link to let them know if I felt that was incorrect, which I certainly did. Not great, but could be worse!

  33. Jack Yan says:

    Darn, that’s really sneaky of them. When I wrote this post, I’ve noticed Facebook gradually shut each avenue open to users, as though it were a cat-and-mouse game. Many years ago, long before this malware-scanner con, Facebook shut me down for 69 hours—I had done nothing wrong, it plain stopped working—and I feel this is a repeat of that database bug. Except what happens now is they publicly shift the blame on to us. The motive? To keep the share price high. If word ever got out that the site was this buggy, affecting so many people, investors would run.

  34. Matt Smith says:

    Facebook just kicked me out of all my devices and tried stating the same. Funny thing is, I already use ESET and there are no infections, not only that, this PC is a new image that is about a week old that has had little use. It happened after I shared a link to wikibuy. Yes, I am also a heavy user. The last time they tried this with me was when I linked a video from my google photos account. I was instantly kicked out and told the same thing.

  35. Jack Yan says:

    Interesting, Matt—especially as you already use ESET, and the fact your PC is a new image is also very telling. Both confirm to me that Facebook is lying. I wonder why link-sharing is such anathema to Facebook, since the sites you mention are pretty innocent. In my case I didn’t even share a link: I used the Facebook messaging plug-in on Down Detector.

  36. Vel says:

    Looks like facebook itself entered in to installing malware business.
    why the hell Facebook to worry if virus installed in my computer or not. it is my worry. But one good thing i noticed is that I am now able to login to Facebook as I am determined not to download their recommend BS…and you know what, i now have plenty of time to focus in my life that is worthy rather than bullshitting around in FB.

  37. Vel says:

    ***But one good thing i noticed is that I am now NOT able to login to Facebook as I am determined not to download their recommend BS…and you know what, i now have plenty of time to focus in my life that is worthy rather than bullshitting around in FB.

  38. Jack Yan says:

    I am with you on this, Vel. I used to update Facebook a lot. What this has done is break that habit. For a site that spies on us, and protects bots and spammers, I see very little that is redeeming about the place. A friend of mine recently deactivated her account and doesn’t miss it at all.

  39. Karen Lee Tolfree says:

    Isn’t it surprising how quickly FB has become a thing of the past in our lives? We’re probably the reason FB came out with messaging for young children. Parents beware! You’re kids don’t need it.

  40. Sharown58 says:

    As of 12/06/17 Facebook STILL has me blocked, it’s been over 3 months now. It doesn’t matter whose computer that I use, it still gives me the same “infected” message, AND the owners of all those computers can still access their Facebook accounts…SCAM CONTINUES!!!!!!!!!!!!! A friend told me to have my husband contact Facebook on my behalf, we just have not had the time to do it yet.

  41. Jack Yan says:

    Hi Karen, hopefully kids will see more utility or entertainment in other apps—I was thinking just earlier today how passé something like Facebook must seem to today’s kids, who have had technologies like video capabilities on their phones for so long. For them, Facebook must be very clunky.

  42. Jack Yan says:

    Thanks, Sharown58. I’ve Tweeted Facebook many times to no avail. Basically, this is a firm that does nothing unless it risks some major embarrassment. It could be more useful to get your electorate’s politician on board. I’ve written to the Privacy Commissioner, but nothing has come of that. I guess even some civil servants, who have nothing to lose and everything to gain from exposing this scam, don’t have the cojones to tackle Facebook.

  43. Tim says:

    Class action time I think – this is clearly a scam of the worst order. Even the BBB seems to have given up supporting victims!

  44. SMN5507 says:

    HELP!!!!! Facebook kidnapped my account November 25 and will not let me access it at all!!!!!

  45. Jack Yan says:

    Did you get the bogus “malware” warning? Earlier commenters suggest that you could be blocked for between three days and a month, though the header-change method could still work to get around things.

  46. SMN5507 says:

    I so did. Here’s a screen shot:


  47. Jack Yan says:

    I had heard they had started going after Linux machines—back in 2016 you could get away by switching to Linux. SMN5507, have you tried a plug-in that changes headers, and fools Facebook into thinking you are using a Mac? That reportedly has worked for a few people in the comments above.

  48. SMN5507 says:

    Jack Yan, how does it work?

  49. SMN5507 says:

    How does it work?

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