Facebook Hit by Porn Attack

6:35 AM PST 11/16/2011 by Georg Szalai
Bloomberg/Getty Images

The social network says that a "coordinated spam attack" led to the posting of pornographic and violent images on the pages of some users.

NEW YORK - Facebook was hit in recent days by what the social network called a "coordinated spam attack" that led to the posting of pornographic and violent images on the pages of some Facebook users, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Some users had taken to blogs and Twitter to complain about porn and other disturbing pictures that appeared in their friend feed.

Facebook, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said that some of its users were tricked into pasting and executing "malicious" code in their browser URL bar, causing them to share the offensive content without knowing it, according to the Journal. The action enables hackers to bypass Web security controls. Facebook also said that it is working on addressing the issue and has built "enforcement mechanisms" to shut down malicious pages and accounts.

"We've put in place back-end measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people," a Facebook spokesman told the Journal.

Chester Wisniewski, senior security adviser at Internet security firm Sophos, told the Journal that the pasting of bad code, known as "cross-side scripting," typically happens due to an enticement, such as a chance to win a free Apple iPhone.
 

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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