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Facebook Glitch Let Spammer Post To Walls

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the bigger-longer-lasting-status-updates dept.

Bug 63

angry tapir writes "A clever spammer found a glitch in Facebook's photo upload system and used it to post thousands of unwanted Wall messages last week. Facebook confirmed the bug Friday, after notifying affected users of the issue. Most of the messages promised 'Free iPhones,' a common spam message on Facebook these days. Facebook says that the spammer hit thousands of profiles before the company removed the spammy photos and notified affected users. No accounts were compromised as a result of the bug."

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Facebook is cancer (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487660)

Facebook is cancer on the internet that is eating away creativity and innovation.

Re:Facebook is cancer (2, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487742)

I think you'll find the people hacking facebook are very innovative and creative. TV is the main mind killer.

Re:Facebook is cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487786)

I think you'll find the people hacking facebook are very innovative and creative. TV is the main mind killer.

I thought it was alcohol?

Re:Facebook is cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487798)

You need the acohol in order to be able to bear watching TV, so alcohol is a symptom, TV is still the cause.

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487806)

I think you'll find the people hacking facebook are very innovative and creative 15 year-olds.

Facebook is the new AOL.

Re:Facebook is cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487852)

Man that is brilliant. I thought it was the new MySpace, but I think AOL is closer. Make it hard to quit? Check. Mum uses it? Check. Facebook is here to stay boys.

Re:Facebook is cancer (2, Funny)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487972)

Like Geocites!

Re:Facebook is cancer (3, Insightful)

anguirus.x (1463871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488068)

I think you'll find the people hacking facebook are very innovative and creative. TV is the main mind killer.

Actually, fear is the main mind killer. Such as fear of TV killing your mind....

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488166)

I thought that as I typed mind killer :) Have a knowing nod +1

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

anguirus.x (1463871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488382)

What if Sci-Fi and comics really were the main mind killer though, man??

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488452)

I like Smallvile. My brain rotted many many yeas ago. Mmm Kristin Kreuk.


The correct amount of Ls has been used.

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33491372)

Actually, Zorgath Brain-Melter of Argyle III is the true main mind killer. He has over 18 billion confirmed kills. Fyr Lobotimizer (you mis-spelled his first name) of Satiria VII was relegated to secondary killer after the Mice-and-Figs debacle of '05. The more you know... :-)
 
...the more likely you are to be targeted by Zorgath.

general TV/computer issue, really (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489712)

I have a computing habit about equal to that of some couch potatoes, and that's one thing I do point out: at least the computer is/can be active instead of passive, at least more often than the TV is active-thinking
For instance, I tend to like strategy games.

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33499960)

As I said in my biopic "Dune", fear is the mind-killer.

Re:Facebook is cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487804)

Well said anon.

But how? Facebook is basically geocities 2.0 with a much lower barrier to entry, yet is an order of magnitude more cancerous.

Re:Facebook is cancer (2, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487846)

Nah, Geocities had a few quite useful sites by people interested in sharing information but with little care for web site maintenance per se.

Facebook, OTOH, has never offered any useful information to anyone.

This vulnerability is about as shocking as hearing that some bathroom/toilet stalls don't have graffiti-proof paint on them. And as disappointing in terms of humour loss from an otherwise drab experience when someone does something about it.

Re:Facebook is cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33491028)

... with a much lower barrier to entry, yet is an order of magnitude more cancerous.

You speak of these things as though they're unrelated...?

Re:Facebook is cancer (1, Flamebait)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489014)

Yes, because most of the people on Facebook would be off composing symphonies or expanding human knowledge if they just spent less time posting on peoples' walls.

I'm getting ridiculously tired of this hyperbolic Slashdot crap toward anything some random whackjob who can't even be bothered to post under an account has to say. You don't like Facebook? Good for you. It doesn't make you smarter, it doesn't make your penis bigger, and it sure doesn't make you or your time more valuable than people who do.

Tell me, oh brilliant AC: Do you even realize the irony that if Facebook is a waste of time, bitching about how much of a waste of time Facebook is is even worse? Apparently you're one of the enlightened! Go forth and catalyze creativity and innovation! Save humanity! You're our last hope! I'll go create a Facebook page to commemorate your righteous battle. Stop by if you have a moment and leave an update on my wall about how you're doing.

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33494478)

You should be modded insightful, rather than that tripe posted by A/C. Nicely put.

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489842)

Agreed, I don't have nearly as much time to play WOW anymore!

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33490182)

Facebook is cancer on the internet that is eating away creativity and innovation.
10 hours ago via Facebook for iPhone. Comment Dislike

You and 5 other people like this.

CmdrTaco [fsdn.com] changed his profile picture.
11 hours ago via Facebook mobile. Comment Like

2i^7 people like this.

CowboyNeal The surgery went well I see. Glad you're back to work.

About an hour ago. Like

Re:Facebook is cancer (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33494470)

Facebook is cancer on the internet that is eating away creativity and innovation.

You sound just like those other "theme" preachers.

* Video games are responsible for an entire generation of fat and violent children.
* Pirates are killing the music industry.
* etc.

And you get modded insightful for this. Yay Slashdot.

Re:Facebook is cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33495788)

Facebook is cancer on the internet that is eating away creativity and innovation.

The popularity of which indicates that the average user would prefer a consistent, uncluttered interface, as opposed to "creativity and innovation".

People are just pissed that FB is so popular with such a simple site. It is that very simplicity which makes it so popular. Instead of bitching about it, devs need to pay attention to what consumers want, as opposed to what the devs want to deliver.

Free iPhones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487664)

Please visit my fake site for more information!

Re:Free iPhones! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487778)

Homer: And how much is this free iPhone?

Re:Free iPads, in my case (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33490540)

I got email from my friend that I had free iPad spam on my Facebook. Arrrgh. Went and deleted it, dropped notes to the couple of friends who had commented that my account had probably been hacked, changed my password (which had been too short, back when I wasn't expecting Facebook to have any real information in it.) I tried to play with the pictures, but if I understand FB's tools correctly (I don't use them much), I didn't have permissions to change the iPad picture they'd put on my Wall Album into a can of Spam, and it was harder to delete than it should have been.

Glad to hear they were doing something other than password hacking here, but it's still an example of why I don't want my Facebook login used as the login for everything else on the Internet.

it's funny I was at a bbq yesterday (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487670)

And we talked about Friendster (Remember Them?), MySpace (Remember Them), and Facebook. I say they should have sold that site last year. Now with many people being aware of location awarness etc..., my buddies have decided to delete their accounts. I admit I dabbled in it for a week, it was a complete waste of time. Call me old fashioned I still like using the phone and be in person when I talk to my friends.

And I keep saying it over and over again, If I made my thoughts public or let everyone know who my friends are I would be in a lot of trouble. Fuck that!

Re:it's funny I was at a bbq yesterday (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487706)

If I made my thoughts public or let everyone know who my friends are I would be in a lot of trouble

Did Putin add you as friend on facebook ?

Re:it's funny I was at a bbq yesterday (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487788)

Did Putin add you as friend on facebook ?

I heard it was Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton who 'friended' him. I think he dodged a bullet by deleting his account!

Re:it's funny I was at a bbq yesterday (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487802)

Call me old fashioned I still like using the phone and be in person when I talk to my friends.

Hey old timer, the interesting thing about new communication methods is that they aren't usually meant to kill existing ones -- just like telephone didn't kill in-real-life meetings.

By the way, I'm wondering why you didn't call me instead of posting here?

Re:it's funny I was at a bbq yesterday (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33494504)

I still like using the phone and be in person when I talk to my friends.

So do I, but there's no denying it gets a wee bit expensive to sustain when my family are spread across the planet. Hey, how about that...a social networking site that facilitates me communicating with people who are important to me that are thousands of miles away. Neat thing, this Internet...

First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487676)

Free iPhones!!!

Oh, nuts... (4, Funny)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487708)

And to think that I thought that all of those wall postings were because of a sudden surge in my popularity...

Well, at least I'm going to get a free iPhone out of it, or so I've heard.

Re:Oh, nuts... (2, Funny)

halfaperson (1885704) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487780)

Well, at least I'm going to get a free iPhone out of it, or so I've heard.

And that will make you popular!

Competing companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487724)

Facebook obviously don't want Apple's products advertised on their site! Ping threw down the gauntlet, Facebook accepted the challenge and fought back with a mighty PR blow. Take that, Jobs.

facebook is the new aol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33487744)

the idiots that spend hours each day on the site deserve everything they get.

Re:facebook is the new aol (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487754)

I have lots of relatives who use facebook. They are mainly middle aged and most of them are women. They use it to keep an eye on what their peers are up to. Who is having a baby, who is going on holiday. That sort of thing. Facebook has found a use for the internet for these people. I am not sure you can make money off them though.

Re:facebook is the new aol (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487810)

Yes, what could one possibly market to middle-age women interested in motherhood and holidays? And who could possibly want contact or aggregate information about this atypically independent and hard-to-sell-to demographic?

Now I understand how Debian could afford to take that prime time TV ad slot to announce the Backports service becoming official while big pharma struggled to afford the 10 second "follow-on milk" piece to target the at most half a dozen women who might be convinced that evolution is a failure and breast is not best.

Re:facebook is the new aol (1)

igy (908081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487812)

I think Zynga would beg to differ about making money from middle aged women

facebook and aol were both good for some people (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33490358)

Back in the 90s we got my mother-in-law a computer and an AOL account. It was around the time she retired, she wasn't very active physically and didn't get out much except to get groceries. Once she figured out that the celebrity gossip news was coming from the outside world, not inside the box (guess we should have left the modem sound on :-), and that she could talk to other people, she started to be much more social, which she'd missed since she no longer ran into people in real life, and made some good friends that way.

I got on MySpace so I could see my nephews' heavy metal band. They were actually pretty good for teenagers in a garage, and one of them's a serious musician. MySpace was way too garish to actually spend any time on, of course...

I'd done the Orkut thing, which was fun for six months but that's about it, so I had no interest in getting onto Facebook, but my sister dragged me onto it as a way of keeping track of various relatives, so I can see what her kids are up to and where the various cousins are, as well as comments from various friends. It's not something I spend much time on, but it can be useful for staying connected.

And I really hate that Facebook is trying to stay relevant by making itself the login system for anything online that'll take it. I'm sorry, my ranting on political discussion websites doesn't need to be connected to my family or the LA Times or GMail/Yahoo/Flickr/YouTube. And it was kind of creepy that Facebook suggested "You may already know ____ - want to send her a Friend invitation?" - Yes, I know her, she's a cousin, and she died last week, so just because lots of other people I know were writing on her wall doesn't mean that's a good algorithm for building more connections...

"No accounts were compromised" (4, Insightful)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487762)

I'd like to consider that the insecurity settings I've applied to my account actually mean something. If an unauthorised post ends up on my wall I would consider that my account was compromised, particularly if the post was visible to others.

Re:"No accounts were compromised" (1)

igy (908081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487782)

It depends on where it came from, if one of your friends did something stupid, that's hardly 'your' account that was compromised, it was your friend that authorised it

Re:"No accounts were compromised" (1)

anguirus.x (1463871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487960)

That's really what social networks are all about though. I apply security settings to my account so that only my friends can view my photos, wall posts, etc. If my *friends* account is compromised, then so is my account, since the attacker now may view my account unrestricted. They may not be compromised in the same way, but the account of every friend of a compromised account is also compromised. Think of a hack which found a clever way to inject malicious code into a wall post. Every time a friend clicks "like" on this malicious post their account also becomes compromised. Now they can post malicious code on their friends' accounts and thus pass the infection from friend to friend. This is only possible because once the original friends' account is infected the security/privacy settings you've set are partially bypassed.

Well atleast.. (1)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487794)

.. 4chan didnt get this first - imagine the chaos they would cause (if you've seen any of the screen captures of the dox pulled on porn stars, middle aged masturbating men on chatroulette and so on - just imagine the evidence posted on a person's wall and then the amount of bans handed out to those with pornographic content)

Why do people post Explicite details in info? (4, Interesting)

upuv (1201447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487854)

With the non-stop assault on facebook by every hacker on the planet I have to ask one simple question.

Why do people put every single tidbit of info possible into the info section of their profile?

It's going to get grabbed at some point. No matter how careful you are. Either Facebook is going to change the privacy controls again, opening up another flood gate or a hack is going to allow total access to data.

I regrettably accept the fact that social networking is here to stay. No matter how satanic some of you think it is, it is now a fixture in our lives. But as in the real world I at least use some degree of caution while I use it. Do I have perfect protection. Of course not. No one does. You can get mugged in a police station these days. So no protection is perfect. But good lord some people are just begging to get electronically raped.

For example real time geo updates to your current location + putting in your address into the info tab and having no privacy settings.

This parent post is just a simple example of a breach.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (1)

drej (1663541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488046)

I really don't know. I suppose it may have something to do with people STILL not grasping how dangerous the internet can really be. After all, it's "not real" and "anonymous".

I recently asked a friend of mine (who is a facebook addict) why she was posting all this personal information and updates her status with every little thing that enters her mind. Her answer was along the lines of "I dunno...why not?" I fear the only way for people to wake up and finally take internet security (or at least facebook security) serious is for their account to get hacked and all their nude photos leaked, or if someone uses their geotags to show up at their doorstep, or something like that. People don't learn until they fall flat on their face. And a litle spam on their wall is not enough for the average user (i.e. idiot) to rethink their behaviour.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489718)

Your examples aren't very compelling to me. How hard is it to not post nude photos or use geotags? -Clint, living publicly on the internet for 15 yrs

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488118)

Why do people put every single tidbit of info possible into the info section of their profile?

Stupidity and / or naivety. It simple does not occur to some people that exposing their personal details on the internet equivalent of a Times Square billboard is a terrible thing to do.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33488366)

I used to have my address and phone number on Facebook. That was when I was still naive about them and their "privacy". I had set it so that only my family could see my cell number and address. (I had a lot of "lists" for security even back then; after all I am in IT). After the "we are making everything public" scandals, I woke up and realized that I could not have "real" information on there. For quite some time now I have shown a fake address in another state and no phone or anything else. My profile has almost nothing (it has my real blog as my web page though). Even so, I still practice diligence in putting people in different lists with different access. I don't have any of those "friends of friends" settings letting unknown and untrusted people see things. I have some lists of people who I don't want posting on my wall, others who can, etc. But I am sure that Facebook will, at some point, do another "oops on purpose" and make everything available to everyone again. This is why I never post something like, "I am on a trip to Houston". (I may though post something like, "Just returned home from a trip to Houston"). It's just too hard to trust not only Facebook, but the computing habits of people who, in other walks of life, I would trust to not hand out my info. On their computers though they tend to do the whole, "ooh, shiny!" thing and click on and install anything. I have to consider their accounts and machines compromised and ready to share my info with others.

I just went through a purge yesterday and dropped 8 of my 41 friends. They were all from work (why I accepted them, I don't know), but they posted mostly either political stuff or religious stuff all the time violating the principals of not talking about that kind of thing so they had to go. As you can tell, I am not a "friend farmer" - I have seen folks with over 1,000 friends and can't believe people treat it like a popularity contest or need that much help with "share my data wars" games like mafiaa wars or farmville.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33488398)

Good God, someone might break into my house once they know where it is! I'd better take my address down, burglars will never be able to find it if they can't type it into their GPS, since it's invisible from the street.

Hm, and maybe filling in the "mother's maiden name" part of the profile info wasn't such a great idea, either.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (2)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489706)

A: Not everyone is a walking vagina frightened of someone getting our info. Not everyone needs to hide in the shadows with a tinfoil hat because, OH NO, somebody might have INFORMATION on us. Not everyone is naive to think this is something they can actually control, anyway.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33493776)

If you had grown up behind the iron curtain or lived under a truly repressive regime at some point in your life, you might feel differently. In any case, the civilization we presently enjoy is only a few steps removed from the barbarism of our past; you would do well to remember that before painting a target on your back.

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (2, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#33493880)

Yea, I understand the situation, but this is a new age. The people who hide only make those who don't stick out like sore thumbs more. If everyone lived in the open, there would be far too many targets to be eliminated. Those who continue to hide behind their own personal iron curtains only propagate the conformity. The internet didn't exist during the barbarism of our past; the paradigm is quite different now. Think of all the groups who have been willing to stand up and be counted, and are now, ever so slowly, gaining their rights. Gay marriage being the current one. 1000s of years of discrimination wiped out within a few decades of a global communication infrastructure being created. You think these gays would have gotten their rights had they refused to acknowledge their own existence by hiding behind a shroud of privacy?

So yeah, I get the points everyone is making. I just find them to be of an outdated mindset. They are basing opinions by looking towards the past instead of the future. Jennicam had it right.

You mean your birthdate and your mother's name? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33490458)

Facebook is set to show your birthday by default, and show who your friends are. My mom's never going to be on Facebook, so nobody's going to get her maiden name that way, and my birthday's set to "January 1, Random Year", so it's not showing the quasi-passwords to half the information in the world, but arrgh.

What's worse is Ancestry.com, where if you're using it to share genealogy research, it typically *is* going to show your birthday and mother's maiden name... On the other hand, they're not trying to become the shared login system for everything in the world.

Re:You mean your birthdate and your mother's name? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33493378)

You dp realize that if your birth was registered in the USA the contents of your birth certificate are almost certainly public information, right?

Re:You mean your birthdate and your mother's name? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501602)

The problem is, like your SSN, some companies ASSume that anyone who can tell them your birthdate must be you.

Public info vs. Convenient Public Info (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33568128)

Yes, the information's out there - but it's not in a conveniently accessible indexed format that anybody can get to without problems. (Of course, if you want official copies, it's become worse since the Patriot Act - try getting a driver's license reissued if you don't have an official copy of your birth certificate, and try getting an official copy of your birth certificate if you can't show your driver's license...)

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33495940)

With the non-stop assault on facebook by every forum Troll on the planet I have to ask one simple question.

Why aren't people just as pissed off at Twitter, or YouTube, which are just as much (if not more so) of an information security risk?

Re:Why do people post Explicite details in info? (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33497854)

Simple answer.

Twitter and You tube haven't had massive data losses to the levels that facebook is known for and they have not adjusted "privacy" settings specifically to expose details like facebook has.

Almost weekly but at worst monthly facebook has a public loss of information whether self induced or via defect and thus exploit.

typo squatter (3, Interesting)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33487862)

The other day I accidentally went to facebok.com. It was pretty obviously a typo squat, but what was more alarming was that the fake survey they provided had some correct information filled out (age, sex, etc..) Try it with and without cookies and it seems that that info is stored either locally or via the advertiser information sharing.

Re:typo squatter (0, Troll)

kma (2898) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489946)

Facebook does not share information with advertisers. Facebook's ad system acts as a broker: an advertiser submits an ad, a demographic they wish to see the ad (e.g., gender, age, geographic locale), and a bid. Facebook pairs those ads with users that match the criteria.

I work for Facebook, as an engineer in search.

Conscience (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#33489636)

How do spammers sleep at night? Do they realize how big of a douche they look like?

Re:Conscience (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33493528)

Probably too busy rolling around in piles of cash to care. Same with investment bankers and auto execs.

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