October 30, 2011

Hackers Target Facebook 600,000 Times Each Day

More than half a million hackers log into Facebook, attempting to access the messages, photos, and personal information of legitimate members of the popular social network, Telegraph Digital Media Editor Emma Barnett reported on Saturday.

There are approximately 600,000 "compromised Facebook logins" each day, the company revealed in a Facebook blog post announcing new security measures for the website. The revelation, marks the first time that the Mark Zuckerberg-owned network revealed how many cyberattacks it suffers during an average 24-hour period, claims Barnett.

Security experts told her that the figure was a "big concern" and urged greater care in selecting passwords and clicking on offers that supposedly originated from Facebook friends.

"When a Facebook login is compromised, it means that someone else, the hacker, has taken control of that account," Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley told the Telegraph. "When a hacker takes over a user´s Facebook account, they can post images, send messages and access all of that person´s private information in one fail swoop."

"Facebook has had a lot of security issues which it is now trying to address," he added.

Furthermore, Barnett says that Cluley believes that it is becoming easier to hack into a person's Facebook account since an estimated 30% of those online use the same password for all of their digital and/or Web-based accounts. He also noted a rise in the number of teenagers hacking into Facebook accounts of rival high schools "in order to post malicious messages and photos on their behalf."

In an attempt to make the social networking website more secure, Facebook rolled out a pair of new security features in that previously mentioned blog post Thursday.

The first, dubbed "trusted friends," allows users who have been locked out of their account to regain access with the help of their closest friends. Facebook compared it to "giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation--pick the friends you most trust in case you need their help."

The other feature will be a password system for third-party apps.

According to an infographic posted to the website, only 4% of content shared on Facebook is spam, while less than 0.5% of the company's nearly 800 million members experience any kind of spam content on a given day. The average user has 130 friends.


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