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Facebook Hacker Insults

Claim:   Hackers seize control of Facebook accounts to post insulting messages on the walls of friends of those whose accounts they've taken over.

FALSE

Examples:

[Collected via e-mail, May 2012]

Dear FB Buddies . . . Watch your wall. Tell your friends . . . Hackers are now on FB writing insults on your friends' walls, such insults of which are made to appear as having come from you. You don't know nor see it but your friends do. As a result, they have deleted you from their list of friends. I want to assure you that if you get something supposedly from me that's offensive, it certainly didn't come from me. Copy and re-post PLEASE
 

[Collected via e-mail, March 2012]

NOTICE FOR ALL !!!!!!!!!!!! Watch out for your wall! Tell a friend! Hackers are now on Facebook and on the walls of your friends. They write insults under your name and you do not know about it!!. You will not see it, but your friends see that your name is written below the written insults.
 

[Collected via e-mail, January 2012]

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL !!!!!!!!!!!! Watch out for your wall! Tell a friend! Hackers are now on Facebook and on the walls of your friends, they write insults under your name and you do not know about it!!. You will not see it, but your friends see that your name is written below the written insults. If you get something from me that is offensive, know that it was not me! Copy to your wall.
 

[Collected via e-mail, December 2011]

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL !!!!!!!!!!!! Watch out for your wall! Tell a friend! Hackers are now on Facebook and on the walls of your friends they write insults under your name and that you do not know. You will not see it, but your friends see that your name is written below the written insults. If you get something from me offensive, know that it was not me! please contact me if you do thru private message. Copy to your wall

 

Origins:   False warnings about hackers invading Facebook accounts to post insulting messages to the walls of friends of the rightful owners of those accounts circulate in e-mail and on social networking sites.

Facebook accounts can be retooled by hackers to issue missives their actual owners would never send (such as the posting of derogatory notes on friends' walls), but the mechanism whereby malcontents gain such control is one of social engineering rather than computer wizardry. There's no special programing trick the ill-intentioned have mastered that allows them to seize control of social media accounts. Instead, it comes down to a matter of tricking the unsuspecting into unlocking the door through which invaders gain the access they seek.

Those who lose control of their accounts do so through unintentionally installing rogue Facebook applications. Or they fall victim to clickjacking schemes when they click on proffered links misleadingly labeled as innocuous or alluring items (such as "Like" buttons or links to videos that sounds interesting) when in fact they are really quite different critters. Or (as was the case in the November 2011 Facebook porn video attacks, described in further detail on our page about that incursion) they are duped into executing malicious Javascript code in their browsers' address bar.

Last updated:   10 May 2012

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