Report: Mysterious Facebook Web search box could be malware

A second search box on Facebook's interface wasn't placed there by the company, so beware

A Web search box some users are seeing on their Facebook interface wasn't inserted by Facebook and could be the result of malware or a rogue browser plug-in or application.

AllFacebook, a blog devoted to Facebook-related news, first reported that a second search box had begun to appear on Facebook interfaces, right next to the legitimate site search bar.

The mysterious Web search box appeared perfectly integrated into the Facebook page layout, as if it were a native Facebook feature. However, Facebook is now saying that it didn't put that second search box there and that it could be a sign of malware infection.

"We are not testing the placement of a separate web search field and have no plans to do so. We believe the second search field or 'Search the Web" box appeared on peoples' accounts as the result of unknown actions by a third party targeting the browser -- potentially a browser plugin or malware -- unrelated to Facebook," a Facebook official told technology news blog Search Engine Land.

As Facebook members, users who think they might be affected by this situation have access to a free, browser-based virus scanning tool from McAfee, according to the company.

As the most popular social network and one of the world's largest sites, Facebook is in a constant battle against malicious hackers and online scammers who want to take advantage of its massive user base to commit fraud and spread malware.

At this point, it's not clear whether the sinister search box is the result of an external malware exploit or the work of a rogue Facebook application.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityinternetmalwareFacebooksocial networkingInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?