This story was first published on November 10, 2011
‘Hacker’ alert messages circulating on Facebook claim that, without your knowledge, hackers are posting insulting or sexual messages that appear to come from you onto your Facebook Timeline.
The messages are simply too vague to have any real merit as security warnings. They contain no specific information about how these supposed ‘hackers’ gain access to user accounts or how users might avoid such attacks. There is no credible information about current ‘hacker’ attacks like the one described. Reposting these vague and pointless messages will do nothing to help keep your friends safe on Facebook.
WARNING EVERYBODY: New hackers on Facebook and what they write is aggression from you and it’s insulting. It’s really nasty and it appears to come from you. You do not see it, but your friends do. One result of this can be that you will be deleted on your friends list. I just want to say, if you get something that is offensive, malicious, vulgar, etc., it is ABSOLUTELY NOT from me! Copy this and let your friends know. If you get anything like this from me, please tell me and report it immediately to Facebook. Apparently it can come in messages too. Everyone knows me and knows how I am, so please don’t be fooled! PLEASE do NOT share! “COPY AND PASTE” ONLY!
CautionTo all Facebook Users,
Hackers are posting SEXUAL CONTENT on your walls! You can’t see, but your friends do, then it seems as if you posted it. If you see such a post under my name, please let me know.SHARE this to Protect you and Your Friends…!!
Dear FB Buddies… I will never have anything negative to say about any of you. Watch your wall . Tell your friends… Hackers are now on FB writing insults on your friends walls , such insults of which are made to come from you. You don’t know or see it but your friends do . As a result , they have deleted you from their list of friends. I want to assure that if you get something supposedly from me that’s offensive , it certainty didn’t come from me. Please ask me before you delete me … Copy and Paste. THANKS.
New type of hackers on FB. What they write is aggression against you, and it’s insulting. It’s really nasty and it appears to come from you. You do not see it, but your friends do.. One result of this can be that you will be deleted off your friends list. Just want to say, if you get something that is offensive, malicious, vulgar, etc., it is ABSOLUTELY not from me .. Copy this and put in your status….
Dear FB Buddies . . . If I have something negative to say to you, I will inbox you. 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 or 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 n paste…
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL !!!!!!!!!!!! Watch out for your wall! Tell a friend! Hackers are now on Facebook and on the walls of your friends write insults under your name and that you do not know.You will not see, 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! Copy to your wall …!! And let me know if you receive anything like this from me so I can take care of it..
~~~~~WARNING~~~~HACKER ALERT~~~~~~~~DISCLAIMER: Hackers are busy on Facebook!!! They post some insulting messages on the wall of your friends with your regards, without you knowing about it. If you receive one of those messages in my name, it wasn’t me posting them. Put this on your wall and warn your friends. Share the news!!!
According to several ‘hacker alert’ messages, which circulate continually via Facebook, hackers are infiltrating Facebook accounts and using them to post insulting messages or sexual content on the Facebook Walls of people’s friends. Insulting or sexual messages that these friends will think came from the owner of the hacked account. The warnings ask users to share the information on their own timelines as a means of alerting other Facebook users of this supposed hacker activity.
However, the messages are so vague that they have no real value as security warnings and reposting them will serve no useful purpose. The warnings provide no information about how these supposed hackers go about compromising Facebook accounts. Nor do they provide any details about how people might protect themselves from said hackers, how widespread the hacker attack is, or what date the alleged nefarious activities began. Nor do they provide references that might allow people to find out this information for themselves. They do not even include so much as a single example of a hacker generated ‘insulting message’ or ‘sexual content’ post that might help users identify an attack.
Moreover, there are no credible computer security reports about a Facebook account hijacking campaign like those alluded to in the messages.
In fact, the messages seem to be nothing more than mutated versions of earlier – and equally useless – Facebook driven warnings that claimed that inappropriate videos or messages were being posted in the names of Facebook users without their knowledge.
Of course, some rogue Facebook apps, if given the necessary permissions by a user during the installation process, may automatically post spam, scam or malware messages on the user’s timeline. And, if the user inadvertently divulges Facebook login details via a phishing scam, then Internet criminals could subsequently access the compromised account and post any messages that they wanted to.
However, ‘hackers’ no matter how ‘busy’ they are on Facebook, cannot randomly access Facebook accounts and use them to send messages insulting, sexual, or otherwise. To allow such activities to take place, users must have first taken some overt action such as installing a rogue app, opening an attachment or website that harbours malware, or providing personal information via a phishing scam. Thus, even if a user is not aware of the consequences of his or her actions, that user must actually DO something that opens the door for the hijacker or rogue app.
Hackers do not possess magical powers that allow them to take over Facebook accounts at will. And, your average cybercriminal is likely much more interested in getting your money or sensitive personal information than he is in sending insulting messages to your friends.
To be useful, security warnings need to be up-to-date, accurate, and contain enough detailed information to allow recipients to recognize and deal with the perceived threat should it come their way. Reposting vague and unsubstantiated security warnings like the one above will not enhance security on Facebook in any way whatsoever. These silly warnings do nothing other than to cause confusion among recipients and clutter our social networks with even more utterly pointless nonsense.