Facebook admits to cyber attack that deluged users in vile porn and horror images – but says it is ‘working to improve its systems’

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

The news feeds of thousands of Facebook users were flooded with violent and pornographic photographs after an attack by hackers, a spokewoman for the social networking site confirmed.

Thousands of users around the world were confronted with the videos and images – some of which were doctored to show pornographic pictures of celebrities including teen star Justin Bieber.

‘This seems to be a purely malicious act,’ said security company Sophos. ‘Facebook has a reputation for maintaining a reasonably family friendly environment and most Facebook users don’t expect dead dogs and penises showing up on their wall.’

Facebook was deluged in pornographic spam featuring stars such as Justin Bieber (pictured)Facebook was deluged in pornographic spam featuring stars such as Justin Bieber (pictured)

 

 

Problem pages: Facebook, founded by mark Zuckerberg has been attacked by a virus which places hardcore porn and violent imagery into users' newsfeedsProblem pages: Facebook, founded by mark Zuckerberg has been attacked by a virus which places hardcore porn and violent imagery into users’ newsfeeds

Users were tricked into pasting malware into their browsers, which in turn resulted in the sharing of offensive content, she said.

The attack exploited vulnerabilities in browser software, not Facebook itself – which made it difficult for the site to respond to the flood of spam.

Facebook’s own ‘anything-goes’ approach to sharing led users to think they were safe to post computer script into their browsers.

Facebook now says the attack is ‘under control’.

‘Recently, we experienced a spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability. Our team responded quickly and we have eliminated most of the spam caused by this attack.’

‘We are now working to improve our systems to better defend against similar attacks in the future.’

The spokeswoman said that no user data or accounts were compromised during the cyber attack.

She said that users should never copy and paste ‘unknown code’ into an address bar, to always use an up-to-date browser and to report any suspicious content.

 

The virus has forced many to close down their Facebook accountsThe virus has forced many to close down their Facebook accounts

 

There has been suggestions that Anonymous is behind the attack, but no one has come forward to claim it.

The group of hacktivists had previously vowed to ‘destroy’ Facebook on November 5, the night which commemorates Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot because of its privacy policy.

They created a Twitter account and uploaded a YouTube video, saying: ‘If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill Facebook for the sake of your own privacy.’

This new torrent of imagery has lead to many users deactivating their accounts to stop family and friends being subjected to the graphic imagery.

A Facebook spokesperson said: ‘Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2061665/Facebook-porn-Cyber-attack-deluged-users-vile-horror-images.html#ixzz1dzIFS1Qo

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