How to Remove the Facebook Virus in 2024

Updated on: April 3, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Sam Boyd Sam Boyd
Updated on: April 3, 2024

Short on time? Here’s how to remove the Facebook virus in 2024:

  • 1. Scan Your Device. Run a full disk scan using a reliable antivirus (Norton is my favorite).
  • 2. Remove Virus. Once the scan is finished, let your antivirus remove all files related to the Facebook virus.
  • 3. Stay Protected. Invest in a high-quality antivirus for ongoing protection against viruses and other malware. Norton is the best because it has flawless malware detection, anti-phishing protection, an unlimited-data VPN, and a range of affordable plans.

The Facebook virus is a broad term for a group of malware and scams found in the Facebook or Messenger apps. However, the Facebook virus most commonly comes in the form of a Facebook Messenger virus known as the FormBook Trojan — a serious cybersecurity threat disguised as a harmless file.

This trojan can wreak havoc on your system by stealing sensitive personal information, including your passwords and bank account details. It can also act as a gateway for other malicious software like spyware or ransomware.

The Facebook Messenger virus (including the FormBook Trojan) slows your computer and issues you with unwanted pop-up ads, but it can also put the security of your contacts at risk, as it enables hackers to manipulate your Facebook account.

That said, reliable antivirus software like Norton can remove the virus from your system and protect you against future invasions. This guide will explain Facebook Messenger viruses — including the FormBook Trojan — and teach you how to remove these viruses and avoid them going forward.

Threat name Facebook Virus
Threat type Virus
Devices affected Any device connected to the internet
Sources Malicious links and attachments, fake Facebook profiles and pages, compromised Facebook accounts, third-party apps and quizzes, adware
Symptoms Unexpected messages or posts on Facebook, friend requests to unknown people, unusual account activity, pop-ups and unwanted ads, slower device performance, unauthorized apps and browser extensions, phishing warnings from friends, increased data usage, battery drainage
Damage Data theft, system damage, compromise of other accounts, ransomware attacks, legal issues, reputation damage

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What Is the Facebook Messenger Virus?

The Facebook Messenger Virus is a form of malware that uses Facebook Messenger to issue a malicious program known as the FormBook Trojan. Cybercriminals trick users into downloading this trojan by sending seemingly harmless files or links from trusted contacts that activate the FormBook download when opened.

Once inside a system, FormBook turns into a silent data thief, recording keystrokes, capturing clipboard content, and even taking screenshots to acquire sensitive data such as passwords and banking details. This stolen information is later exploited for illicit activities, causing substantial financial losses for the unsuspecting victims.

Adding to the damage, FormBook can also usher in additional malware, such as ransomware. This results in compromised browsing safety, privacy breaches, and in extreme cases, system failure.

To help prevent or remove the Facebook virus, it’s crucial to have a powerful antivirus that offers real-time protection. This serves as an early warning system, identifying and neutralizing threats like the Facebook Messenger Virus and fortifying your system against future attacks. It can’t be overstated that upon detection, immediate removal of the FormBook Trojan is super important. This will safeguard personal information and help maintain the overall health of your computer.

Follow this guide to learn how to remove the FormBook Trojan and other Facebook viruses.

Step 1. Identify the Facebook Virus With Your Antivirus (And Don’t Make the Problem Worse!)

If you’ve downloaded a virus from Facebook Messenger, disconnect all external devices from your computer, including USB storage devices and mobile phones. This helps prevent malware from replicating onto your USB devices. If you’re worried, you can also use your antivirus to scan your removable storage devices.

The first — and most important — step is to run a full system scan using your chosen antivirus. The full system scan will take an in-depth look into your PC and quarantine every type of malware it discovers, including Facebook viruses such as the FormBook Trojan. It’ll also remove cryptojackers, computer worms, spyware, and more. The scan can take up to 5 hours, so it’s best to leave your PC until the scan is finished, or you can schedule the scan for a more convenient time (when you’re not using the computer).

Never cancel a scan mid-way through, especially if the scan shows the Facebook virus. Malware is able to replicate, so if you end a scan early, you’ll risk leaving other threats on your computer (many of these can cause long-lasting damage).

Your antivirus will display all of the infected files it discovered once the scan is finished. It will automatically place these files in quarantine. At this stage, you’re ready to move on to step 2.

Step 2. Remove the Facebook Virus and Delete Any Other Infected Files

The quarantine vault will show all the infected files that your antivirus scanner identified — including the FormBook Trojan. If you’re interested in learning more about these files, you can enter the threat name into your search engine — this is good practice since it’ll help you understand whether you should be changing your passwords, securing your accounts, or looking to recover/backup files. But the most important step to take is to delete the quarantined files. Advanced users may want to check for false positives, and if a file is 100% safe, you can choose to keep it (by whitelisting it in your antivirus program).

After deleting the files, you need to restart your computer to disable any malware that might still be running in Windows’s memory. Some antivirus engines, such as Bitdefender, can also scan your boot sector when you restart your PC. Your boot sector is the area that controls what will be loaded into your computer’s memory. If there’s malware in your boot sector (including the Facebook virus), a good antivirus will catch it upon restart.

Run a second full disk scan after your computer finishes rebooting. This second scan is really important as the malware in your boot sector may have replicated itself before your antivirus had a chance to stop it from running. However, the second scan will run faster since antivirus programs can remember recently scanned files and only look at new changes.

If the second full disk scan finds more malware, delete the malicious files, restart your PC, and run a full disk scan again — you need to repeat this process until your computer is clear of any infected files.

With a clean device, move forward with more caution. Knowing how easy it is for files to infect your device, you should be more careful. For example, you should always double-check with a contact if you receive a suspicious message or link from them on Facebook Messenger. There are also some other safety measures you should take to prevent future infections.

Step 3. Keep Your Device From Getting Re-Infected

Facebook has almost 3 billion active users in 2024, and that number is increasing. For cybercriminals, this means that every day there are more chances to infect users on Facebook and Facebook Messenger with malware. However, you can easily ensure your protection and safety from the growing number of online threats by being careful and putting the right safeguards in place. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Don’t download suspicious files: You should never download unfamiliar files or open suspicious attachments from strangers on Facebook or Facebook Messenger. When downloading files or clicking links on Facebook, verify that the sender is someone you know. It’s best to do this outside of Facebook in case their account has been compromised. Finally, it’s important to use an antivirus with real-time protection. A good antivirus will scan every file you download and link you visit on sites like Facebook. If the real-time protection detects malicious links or malware downloads, it will intercept them, keeping you safe from getting infected.
  • Keep your software, OS, and drivers up-to-date: When security flaws (or vulnerabilities) are found in software, drivers, or programs, developers issue security patches to fix them. You need to have the most recent versions of everything in order to stay protected. It’s always a good idea to enable auto-updates for all your programs and drivers. Another good thing to do is get an antivirus (like Norton) that automatically scans for outdated files, drivers, and software. This way, if you do download a virus from Facebook Messenger by accident, it’ll lessen the damage it can do through exploiting outdated software.
  • Secure your wireless network and IoT devices: It’s also essential to secure your wireless network and internet of things (IoT) devices, such as thermostats, door cameras, and CCTV systems. Make sure your home network is password protected, too. Consult the manual for any IoT device you own and learn how to set up passwords so they can’t be easily hacked or exploited through Facebook Messenger viruses. It’s best to use a premium password manager to manage all your passwords and generate one that’s super secure. Also, when using a public network, it’s a good idea to use a secure and reliable VPN.
  • Download a secure antivirus program: Finally, you’ll want an effective antivirus to keep you safe from threats such as the FormBook Trojan. A good antivirus will protect you from phishing attempts, stop you from downloading dangerous programs, and more. You can’t go wrong with any on our list of the top 10 antiviruses in 2024. Many come with additional features like parental controls, automatic updates, and dark web monitoring.

3 Best Antivirus Programs for Removing the Facebook Virus

Quick summary of the best antiviruses for removing the Facebook Virus:

  • 🥇 1. Norton — Overall best antivirus for removing the Facebook virus and other malware threats in 2024.
  • 🥈 2. Bitdefender — Best lightweight cloud-based antivirus with a full suite of advanced features.
  • 🥉 3. McAfee — Versatile antivirus suite with excellent online anti-phishing features.

Common Signs You Have the Facebook Messenger Virus on Your System

Here are some common signs indicating the presence of this virus on your system:

  • Increased CPU usage: If you observe a sudden and unexpected spike in your CPU usage, it may be due to the Facebook Messenger virus running background tasks on your system. Its activities often demand substantial processing power.
  • Frequent system lags: The virus can cause your system to lag or respond slowly. This slowdown is due to the resources consumed by the trojan.
  • Malicious pop-ups: An influx of pop-up ads, especially those promoting suspicious software or services, could indicate that you’ve been infected with the Facebook Messenger virus.
  • Uninitiated window openings: The trojan can control your system, randomly opening windows or applications without your command.
  • Redirection to suspicious sites: You may find your browser redirecting you to untrustworthy or unfamiliar websites. This is a common tactic to expose you to more threats or collect your personal information.
  • Unusual account activity: If you notice uncharacteristic activity on your Facebook account, such as messages you didn’t send or posts you didn’t make, it might be the work of the virus.
  • Unexpected system crashes: If your computer is crashing or freezing more than usual, it could be a symptom of the Facebook Messenger virus.
  • Alterations in browser settings: Changes in your homepage, default search engine, or an increased number of toolbars can be signs of a browser hijacker, often a repercussion of the virus.
  • Increased network traffic: Unusual spikes in your network traffic may suggest that the malware is communicating with its command and control servers or spreading to other devices.

How Does a Facebook Messenger Virus Get Onto Your System?

The Facebook Messenger virus primarily infiltrates your system via phishing scams conducted through the Facebook Messenger platform. Cybercriminals often pose as trusted contacts, sending you seemingly harmless files and links that have deceptive labels, compelling you to click on them and download the malicious payload. When you open or download these files, the concealed FormBook Trojan gets activated and installed on your system.

In certain cases, cybercriminals may also exploit software vulnerabilities to spread the virus (which is why you must keep your software and drivers updated).

Can the Facebook Messenger Virus Infect Mobile Devices?

Yes, the Facebook Messenger virus can infect mobile devices, including both Android and iOS. However, the methods of infection and the nature of the harm caused may vary between the two due to their different operating systems and security measures.

For Android users, the risk is more significant. Android’s more open operating system allows you to install applications from third-party sources, making it a more accessible target for the Facebook Messenger virus. Once infected, the virus can execute a variety of damaging actions, such as stealing personal information, sending unauthorized messages, and installing additional malicious applications.

On the other hand, iOS devices are generally considered safer due to Apple’s stringent app vetting process and the limitations placed on third-party installations. However, this doesn’t mean iOS devices are entirely immune to the Facebook Messenger virus. While direct infection is less likely, the Facebook Messenger virus can still exploit users through phishing scams, luring them into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious files.

For both Android and iOS users, it’s crucial to maintain up-to-date system software, avoid clicking on suspicious links, and download applications only from trusted sources like the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Additionally, regular scans with reliable mobile security applications can provide an added layer of protection against such threats.

Other Types of Facebook Viruses

Here are some other categories of Facebook viruses that you should be aware of:

  • Malicious links in private messages: These are often shared through Facebook Messenger. Cybercriminals frequently pose as friends or known contacts, sending you links laced with malware. Clicking on such links could compromise your Facebook login information and other personal data, or deceive you into downloading malicious software like trojans.
  • Dangerous links in public posts: These are typically found in public posts or tags by friends, pages you follow, or public figures. Clicking on these links can direct you to pages designed to phish for your details or install malicious software on your device.
  • Malicious games and apps: Cybercriminals occasionally exploit Facebook’s platform for third-party apps, creating fake games or quizzes that steal user information or infect devices with malware. These deceptive apps might look like popular games or innocent quizzes but hide harmful code or harvest personal data, leading to account theft and further malware spread.
  • Pop-up viruses: Pop-up alerts can sometimes carry Facebook viruses. Cybercriminals manipulate the “Permit Notifications” pop-ups on many websites, Facebook included. If given authorization, these pop-ups can inundate you with damaging content or links designed to retrieve your private data or deceive you into installing harmful software.
  • Ad redirects: Certain ad networks within Facebook might unintentionally serve as conduits for virus attacks. Ads offering products or services at incredibly low prices can lead users to hacker-controlled download portals.
  • Infected images: Large-scale spam campaigns have been known to disseminate malware through infected images on Facebook. Once downloaded, these images can trigger a hidden threat.
  • Counterfeit Facebook browser extensions: Fraudulent browser extensions claiming to offer enhanced Facebook functionality can put users’ privacy at risk and introduce viruses onto their devices. These extensions are often backed by false user reviews and developer credentials. If your antivirus software removes a Facebook virus, it’s always a good idea to check the extensions installed on your web browser and remove any you don’t recognize.
  • In-video virus scripts: These deceptive videos can initiate harmful malware or ransomware infections by masking themselves within seemingly harmless content. Once opened, they can initiate a multi-stage infection or deliver a virus.

For each of these potential threats, use a reliable antivirus program as your best defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Facebook virus do?

The Facebook virus is a generic term for a set of threats that can be sent through Facebook or Messenger. However, it most often appears as the FormBook Trojan via Facebook Messenger. Attackers can be quite clever in disguising contests, messages, and posts with links that direct users to malicious or phishing websites.

The Facebook virus can also spam your contact list or timeline with posts containing false information. If you suspect your computer is infected with the Facebook virus, follow these steps to clean your device.

How dangerous is the Facebook virus?

The Facebook virus can be a mild annoyance or a serious problem depending on the circumstances. It might only pollute your timeline or it could do something as serious as collecting your personal information and using it for malicious purposes. The Facebook virus can also install malware onto your device, affect its performance, or take control of even more personal data. If you think your device has been infected with the Facebook virus, follow these 3 simple steps to remove the virus from your computer.

How do I get rid of the Facebook virus?

The Facebook virus can be easily removed through an antivirus program. Norton is my preferred antivirus as its malware directory is constantly updated with the latest threats. Norton uses advanced heuristic analysis and machine learning technology that will help detect and block threats from infecting your account or device.

If your computer is infected with the Facebook virus, make sure to follow our steps and run a virus scan using a comprehensive malware scanner, like Norton.

After you’re finished removing all malware:

  • Avoid downloading files or opening attachments from strangers on Facebook.
  • Always contact a Facebook friend on a platform outside of Facebook if you receive a suspicious file from them to confirm it actually was sent by them (their account may have been hacked).
  • Don’t open any messages from strangers that Facebook places in your Message Request folder.
  • Make sure you install an antivirus program with excellent real-time protection running in the background (I recommend Norton).

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About the Author
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Chief Editor
Updated on: April 3, 2024

About the Author

Sam Boyd is a Chief Editor at SafetyDetectives. He has years of experience writing, reviewing, editing, and optimizing blog articles, and he has researched and tested hundreds of cybersecurity products since joining the SafetyDetectives team. When he isn’t exploring the latest cybersecurity products, he enjoys chilling out with video games, watching sports, and exploring new parts of the world with his family.