The giraffe riddle answer has been stumping people since it first appeared. If you can’t answer, you’re supposed to change your Facebook profile photo to a giraffe, but some websites are claiming the giraffe challenge will serve up a dangerous virus instead of Facebook fun.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, if you don’t mind spoilers and want to know the solution, you can find the Facebook giraffe riddle answer here.
Websites like the International Business Times are seriously claiming the Facebook giraffe meme is dangerous because the giraffe photos allegedly contain an embedded virus. The idea is someone is attempting to “gain unauthorized entry to users’ accounts” through the giraffe riddle photos so they can wipe out bank accounts and hard drives. Some people even claim the hacker group Anonymous is responsible for the giraffe riddle, but that seems ridiculous on the face of it.
Chief technical officer for SANS’ Internet Storm Center James Thompson allegedly claimed that giving the wrong giraffe riddle answer in the form of a JPEG photo is how the virus spreads:
“It’s been done in the past, but with HTML code instead of the JPEG. It is a virus, but it didn’t spread very far. We’ve only had two reports of it. When you do it, Facebook automatically gives the hackers your user mail and password, malicious code embedded in the JPEG image gives the hackers everything they need.”
But, is the giraffe riddle virus a hoax or not? Like any good lie, there’s an element of truth contained within these messages being spread around on Facebook.
It is true that between the years 2002 and 2004 it was possible to embed exploits into JPEG images. But tech companies patched those exploits long ago, and even back then, viruses were extremely rare.
The warning by the SANS Internet Storm Center is also true, but this warning was made in 2004 in reference to a dangerous virus spreading through AOL instant messenger. There are also some messages that are supposedly from F-Secure, but they’re completely bogus.
In order for the giraffe riddle virus to be real, hackers would need to discover a new exploit in the old JPEG format that somehow compromises Facebook security by changing a profile photo. But that scenario is extremely unlikely and you probably shouldn’t lose any sleep over it (figuring out the giraffe riddle answer on your own might be enough to do that).
It should be noted that some people could spread new Facebook posts about the giraffe riddle meme that contain external links leading to websites which serve up malware and viruses to your desktop or smartphone (yes, there are nasty Android and iPhone viruses out there). It’s also possible someone could set up a website explaining the giraffe riddle answer just so they can infect your device with a virus. The best way to avoid such a scenario is to keep your anti-virus software up to date.
In any case, be careful in what you click on and good luck in figuring out the Facebook giraffe riddle answer!