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Facebook says it will pursue legal action against attacker

The use of social networking websites is skyrocketing. At first, social networking was mostly the realm of college students and teens looking to stay connected with friends. Social networks like Facebook have now been adopted as tools for business and users of all ages access the site.

Recently, the Pentagon even started to make use of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to help attract recruits for military service. With the skyrocketing success of Facebook, it's no surprise that success has led to undesirable elements being attracted to the website as well.

Last week Facebook was besieged by phishing attacks from a website called The nefarious attack delivered messages to a Facebook friends list telling the users to check out a link. The link led to a fake Facebook page where users were tricked into entering their Facebook username and password.

Facebook says that is has now taken steps to stop the phishing attacks and to prevent users from accessing the website. Facebook says that it has given the site URL to MarkMonitor, a service that Facebook uses for security and around the clock monitoring and prevention of attacks on its network.

Facebook threat analyst Ryan McGeehan said, "Our deep commitment to the safety of our users requires a strong proactive security strategy, best-of-breed technology, and active engagement with industry leaders. MarkMonitor demonstrated that it understood the complexity of the phishing issue we were facing, so it was a natural next step for us to bolster our own security systems with their anti-malware solution."

Facebook says that it intends to pursue legal action against the owners of and that Facebook employees are resetting the passwords of users that were affected by the phishing attacks.

MarkMonitor CMO Frederick Felman said, "The meteoric success of Facebook makes it a natural target for malware attacks that seek to capitalize on their trusted and recognizable brand. Our experience protecting Fortune 500 companies, as well as our close day-to-day interaction with Facebook's own dedicated security team, allows us to expertly address Facebook's concerns about malware and phishing, and to help protect their platform and their users from ongoing attacks."

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By Shida on 5/4/2009 10:56:49 AM , Rating: -1
You know, for a company that has consistently tried to keep track of it's members, tried to take capital of of the content uploaded and inputed by it's members through changing the EULA, and recently allowing multi-national companies to have tools to ad-poll people according to whatever category of demographic(s), and for complying with government law enforcement that's just starting to flirt with the idea of using social network websites and other such places so as to keep tabs on people for "security purposes".

And despite all that, I really can't believe they use this opportunity to reinstate that they just love privacy for their members.

Seriously. I know that the whole Facebook Beacon fiasco is now over, and the EULA changes have been repealed back but dude, really, I'm not going to buy this PR.

No I don't use the service but it's just amazing how a lot of people are willing to trust their personal information to a company if it just simply promises that they will be a-ok and that nothing will hurt them. Along with some complimentary pillow and blanket.

RE: Hypocrties
By Smilin on 5/4/2009 2:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
No I don't use the service but it's just amazing how a lot of people are willing to trust their personal information to a company if it just simply promises that they will be a-ok and that nothing will hurt them. Along with some complimentary pillow and blanket.

What personal information?

It's not like you have a credit card number or your SSN in your facebook account. The only information they have is the same stuff that's printed on the outside of the junkmail that arrives in my mailbox every day: Name, address.

RE: Hypocrties
By smackababy on 5/4/2009 3:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
The information on the outside of the junk mail was sold by some company you gave personal information to. And besides, I would not be surprised if people used the same password/email for their facebook accounts that they use for their bank, email, and anything else important.

RE: Hypocrties
By Smilin on 5/5/2009 11:07:15 AM , Rating: 2
The point is that "giving your personal information to facebook" is not some horrible idea. It's just not very damaging information. Your name and address (should you publish that in facebook) is already known unless you're a hermit who has never applied for a loan, subscribed to a magazine, have a credit report, etc..

I'll trust facebook with the information I've given them. Not because I actually trust facebook, but because the information is just not that valuable and can be obtained from other sources with much less effort.

If you use the same user/pass for facebook as you do your bank then that's your own fault.

RE: Hypocrties
By Gumby16 on 5/5/2009 3:11:44 PM , Rating: 1
Since you're likely unaware and think that all people run around handing over personal information, remember that your information is being sold to 3rd parties by your bank, your credit card company, your magazine subscriptions...the list goes on and on. What Facebook asks for is already public information easily obtained from rental agreements, mortgage documents, court records, tax filings, and the phone book. You're not handing over highly sensitive credit card numbers, PIN numbers, social security numbers, or anything like that. Truth is, yes, people just stuff their passwords and usernames into boxes without thinking about it because everyone requires it and, on the front, a website is a website. Most people can't tell a real from a fake and most don't have the inclination to learn. Sad but true. Also- you have a valid point that Facebook only cares about privacy when it suits them. But in the interest of full disclosure they aren't doing anything different than all the other companies. That doesn't make it right, of course, but it means we need to be concerned with these practices among ALL businesses, not just internet companies.

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