Hackers go after Facebook sites 600,000 times every daytelegraph.co.uk | Oct 29th 2011
Out of more than a billion logins to the website every 24 hours, 600,000 are impostors attempting to access users’ messages, photos and other personal information Facebook said.
The figure is the first time that Facebook has revealed how it is bombarded by hackers on a daily basis.
It was revealed as part of a Facebook blog post announcing a couple of new security measures being implemented across the site over the coming weeks to tackle these sorts of breaches.
Security experts have said the figure is a “big concern” and that people need to be more careful when choosing their passwords and responding to offers supposedly from friends on Facebook.
Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, a computer security organisation, said: “When a Facebook login is compromised, it means that someone else, the hacker, has taken control of that account.
“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 fell swoop. Facebook has had a lot of security issues which it is now trying to address.”
The most common reason for hackers to breach Facebook users’ accounts is so that they can spread scams and send false offers to the member’s friends in an attempt to sell counterfeit goods and benefit financially.
Cluley said it was becoming easier to hack into more users’ Facebook accounts as thirty per cent of people online are using the same passwords across all of their digital accounts – making it simpler for hackers to control a person’s entire web identity.
He also warned that growing numbers of teenagers are hacking into the Facebook accounts of their school rivals in order to post malicious messages and photos on their behalf.
Facebook declined to comment.
Increasingly more people are also duped into sharing their login details on fake sites, a process called phishing, which gives hackers access to passwords and email accounts.
Security experts have advised people to choose complicated passwords in order to avoid any of their personal online accounts being hacked and to have different ones for every single digital service they use.
It is understood that out of the approximate 600,000 ‘compromised Facebook logins’ a day, not all of them are successful as Facebook is able in certain circumstances to block some pre-emptively using location technology.
The social network is rolling out two new features in an attempt to further protect Facebook users’ security. ‘Trusted Friends’ is a tool which will allow users to nominate three to five ‘trusted friends’ to be sent login codes if a person is locked out of their account, having had their password changed by a hacker.
The site is also introducing passwords for apps, meaning members do not have to use the same logins for different third party services they access via Facebook – such as Spotify.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 800 million members who spend more than a total of 700 billion minutes on the site per month. Half of the UK now have accounts on the site which was created and still run by Mark Zuckerberg, a 27 year-old technology entrepreneur. The average user has 130 friends on the service.
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