Facebook gzip_detect.php Error – Are you affected?

By Jamie Pert - Aug 13, 2010

Today it seems as if a lot of Facebook users running Internet Explorer are receiving a strange download file request asking you to download a file called “gzip_detect.php”.

At the moment it is unclear as to what exactly this file is, and there has been no official word from Facebook, therefore I would recommend not downloading the file just in case it is virus or spyware related.

I have not received the download request myself, therefore it is hard for me to uncover exactly why this is occurring, we would greatly appreciate your feedback on the matter so that we can try to determine exactly what it is.

Please feel free to answer any of the following questions in the comments section below. Have you received this download request when using Facebook? If so, what web browser was you using? Did you download the file? If so, did it cause problems?

As we find more on the matter we will keep you up-to-date, for now I would recommend not downloading the file just-in-case and perhaps ensuring that you are running the latest version of your particular web browser.

Source: GetLatestNews

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  • Bob W.

    I was getting it, tried to "save" it and the next prompt was "where do you want to save this file?" and I didn't know, so I canceled it. Could b e coincidence, but Windows update ran the same day, and I cleared my browser and it stopped. I DOUBT it is a virus or something malicious from what I read (Googled it) but it was annoying for a day or two. It popped up all the time as described above.

  • Jenny

    I have the same issued. However i clicked on download and still the error still shows up on every page I click on facebook. I tried to open it but it just gives me gibberish. I ran a virus and spywares detection program but nothing came up.
    Don't really know what else to do.

  • Donna

    I had the same problem, I have IE7 and I got rid of it by click on start, lt click on IE and rt click on internet properties, clear your browsing history.

  • This only started happening today for the first time. I’m on dial up (no other option) and it has severely slowed any and everything I do on Facebook and uploadig photos has been all but impossible.

    Whether it has anything to do with the updates I downloaded last night for Win 7 and/or for IE8, I don’t know, but I’ve about had it. I’ve been online for 2 hours and have accomplished nothing. Whatever this is, if you’re on high speed, it seems it may not be affecting what you’re doing but with dial up, it’s slowing things up for some reason, and, no, it’s not downloading on to my computer, as far as I can tell. I hope they do something about this asap because until it’s resolved, I’m off FB…. I just don’t have the patience.

  • I got it visiting a friends site that uses the Like button. It was in IE7.

  • started on mine today, did download, then u gotta download special software which i did, then immediately deleted, just bunch of gibberish was in, the only thing i noticed so far is the download box STILL POPS UP every 5-10 seconds, very annoying, and noone has an answer, went thru 4 different spyware, virusware and it still exists.

  • Bob hawkins

    I started getting this after a MS automatic software update yesterday. It started just on facebook, now I'm getting it on any random pageload reguardless of the site. WTF!
    I'm on a HP Touchsmart tx2 with Vista Ultimate & the latest version of IE.

  • Donna

    Same here. Get it no matter what. I HAVE tried to download but it just keeping coming back with the same box. WEIRD but a PITA!

  • John

    did not have this issue till yesterdays IE8 update from Microsoft

  • Lou

    Having the same thing, and Im not going to download to find out. also if you was to download I think it will still keep poping up…. MO

  • MisterM

    I was prompted to download it as soon as I signed in to AOL…before I even opened facebook. I didn't download. Later, I opened facebook, logged in, and was prompted again. Still didn't download. Hope someone figures out WTF it's about and fixes it quick.

  • Orilee

    Just started getting it today (8/13) I run IE7 with Windows XP for the moment. Every time I change the page in FB, I get it and continue to cancel since the last thing I need is something weird on my system.

  • Kathy

    This only began today after my Norton was updated and run last night. I will not download it either. It is annoying that is for sure to have to get rid of it constantly. Hopefully, it will be resolved soon. I also use IE7

  • christine

    This keeps popping up on my computer too. I run AOL off of IE7 or IE8 (can't recall). I'm not downloading it, since there are so many viruses being associated with Facebook right now it's ridiculous. And Facebook seems to be running fine without the download. Still, I wish someone knew what the heck this thing was!

  • Kstel

    As soon as it started (with Facebook), any page I navigate to that has Facebook links or request for favorites (as this page does), I keep getting the message. It is very annoying and hopefully Facebook will resolve it soon, especially since I work at a place that will not allow anything but IE to be used. We use IE 8. Are there any settings in the tools menu that will aid in blocking this?

  • lukyD

    Same account 2 different pages one gets the prompt to download the other doesnt.

  • reneeswifts

    Spotted on answers.yahoo

    • reneeswifts

      Here's the answer.

      First of all. There are many rants forming about this 'gzip_detect.php', now that it hits the spot on the google trends. But one thing is for sure and that is – This is not a virus, malware or Trojan.

      gzip_detect.php is a file for decompressing images, pictures, or other script. Normally, facebook doesn't load this one on your browser and have you save it. Because it is so small. But on some strange instances. Facebook server lags and have some errors that's why this happens.

      Certainly, this is not a threat, I would be even more alarmed when you see a link to your facebook with the word, "Shocking Video Scandal" Scam. Source to Protect yourself: http://bit.ly/9sXVWt

  • Eleanor

    I use IE 8.0.8001.18702. Once I've logged in to Facebook, I get the download prompt for it every time I change screens. The filename I'm getting prompted for has a .gz suffix rather than a .php suffix, though I don't know if that matters. I changed from my home newsfeed to my profile and then back to news feed, and then I went from Newsfeed to one of the games, and it prompted me each time. I have not downloaded the file, as I agree with you it probably wouldn't be safe to do so until we know otherwise. If someone has, I'd sure like to know what it is.

  • ayeee

    My theory:
    Facebook has a misconfiguration in their cluster which does not allow PHP files to be intercepted on the server before the output is being sent to the client.
    Furthermore; The source code cannot be read (binary) as Facebook uses a custom made compiler for their PHP-files in order for them to execute faster.

    Last but not least. The issue is basically on Internet Explorer since the rest (Firefox, Safari, Chrome) handles those kind of issues the correct way – ignoring them.