Facebook identifies cause of porn in newsfeeds
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 11:59
  
San Francisco: Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that it is investigating a rash of unsolicited graphic images that hit some users' accounts this week.

"We experienced a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement emailed to a news agency. "Our efforts have drastically limited the damage caused by this attack, and we are now in the process of investigating to identify those responsible."

The images, Internet links and videos depicting pornography and violence - began to appear Monday and includes doctored photographs of celebrities such as Justin Bieber in compromising situations, acts of violence and bestiality.

Facebook users were tricked into pasting and executing "malicious" javascript in their browser URL bar, which led to them unknowingly sharing the content, Noyes explained.

Facebook has also advice it's users not to copy and paste unknown code into their browser bars.

Facebook engineers have been working to reduce this browser vulnerability, he added.

Facebook and other "Web 2.0" sites are easy targets for such attacks because they pull in a lot of content from outside sources, according to Paul Ferguson, senior threat researcher at Trend Micro Inc.

"It seems every other day there is some new Facebook 'threat,' but this is just the new reality of Web 2.0 and social networking," Ferguson said. "It is 'low-hanging fruit' for criminals."

Facebook does not know yet who was behind the attack and a motive was not clear, Noyes added during an interview with a news agency.

Previously, a group claiming allegiance to Anonymous announced it was going to make November 5 "Kill Facebook Day." However, no noticeable activity was seen on the day. Later a group also associated with Anonymous announced in a YouTube video that it had created a sophisticated tool that would attack Facebook.

Bureau Report


First Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 09:20


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