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10/21/2011
09:01 AM
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Facebook: Latest 'Hack' Was Old, Invalid User IDs

Hacking group "Team Swastika" released apparent Facebook usernames and passwords, but the social network says the data isn't tied to live accounts.

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Was Facebook security breached, resulting in the theft of 10,000 usernames and passwords?

That appeared to be the case after a new hacking group called "TeamSwaStika" released two dumps of data labeled as being from Facebook. According to security vendor Identity Finder, the data in question relates to 9,931 Facebook accounts, many including usernames, passwords, and unique email addresses.

But Facebook begged to differ. "This does not represent a hack of Facebook or anyone's Facebook profiles," according to a statement released by the company. "Our security experts have reviewed this data and found it to be a set of e-mail and password combinations that are not associated with any live Facebook accounts."

"It seems that 'Team Swastika' may be attempting to take credit for compromising account details that they really had nothing to do with," according to a blog post from Rik Ferguson, director of security research and communication at Trend Micro, who spotted the data, which had been released by the hackers without any accompanying explanation. The data was ultimately removed from Pastebin.

[The people charged with securing your systems may take shortcuts that compromise your data. Are Your IT Pros Abusing Admin Passwords?]

But one part of that data, Ferguson said, had originally appeared online a year ago, and has been circulating underground ever since. The other part, meanwhile, had been uploaded to another website about two weeks ago, but by the Group Hp-Hack hackers--tagline: "Islam forever"--from Saudi Arabia. That better-known group also recently defaced the websites of Joomla Canada and ethicalhackingcourses.com. The latter remains unfixed.

What of TeamSwastika? Despite several recent Pastebin posts, the self-described "hacking team from Nepal" was unknown before October 12, when it officially launched, backed by the hacker de rigueur: a pun ("officially lunch"), a Pastebin account, and a Twitter feed. The group quickly used its Twitter account to address the origins of its name, which many appear to have mistaken for a pro-Nazi or fascist bent. Instead, it pointed to the swastika being an ancient good luck symbol in Nepal and India.

TeamSwastika recently posted a collection of random usernames and passwords for various websites and video games, as well as what it claims is a data dump from the website for the government of Bhutan, which is located between India and China. At least some of that data appeared to have been obtained via a SQL injection attack, said Ferguson. The group has also threatened to hack the website of the Indian Embassy in Nepal.

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