Attacks/Breaches
1/26/2011
11:32 AM
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Facebook Founder's Fan Page Hacked

Rogue post on Mark Zuckerberg's page calls into question the social network's credibility that it takes site security seriously.

Top 15 Facebook Apps For Business
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Slideshow: Top 15 Facebook Apps For Business

Should Facebook users be allowed to invest in the social network? An update posted Tuesday on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook fan page read, "Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn't Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way?"

Rather than allowing users to cash in, however, the message turned out to be bogus -- the work of someone who hacked in and then defaced Zuckerberg's fan page.

Interestingly, the rogue post also referenced the 2011 Hacker Cup, a Facebook-sponsored contest that "consists of three online rounds and a final round held at Facebook's headquarters."

Facebook removed Zuckerberg's fan page on Wednesday without comment.

How was Zuckerberg's page hacked? According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, "it's not clear if he was careless with his password, was phished, or sat down in a Starbucks and got sidejacked while using an unencrypted wireless network, but however it happened, it's left egg on his face just when Facebook wants to reassure users that it takes security and privacy seriously."

Interestingly, Zuckerberg earlier this month said that privacy was no longer a "social norm."

At least where Zuckerberg's Facebook page is concerned, that would already seem to be the case. "Celebrity social networking pages are often managed by a whole team of marketing minions," said Cluley. "When you have millions of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, keeping up with the pace of your online social interactions generally gets beyond the capacity of a single person."

The Zuckerberg page defacement follows the Sunday defacement of French president Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page. Attackers posted a rogue update -- notable for its poor French grammar -- that read in translation: "Dear Compatriots, given the exceptional circumstances facing our country I have decided not to put myself up for reelection in 2012."

Afterwards, a message from Sarkozy -- ostensibly the real one -- stated that his Facebook page had been hacked, "perhaps to remind me that no system is infallible."

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

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