My Facebook Account Under Attack

From Iceland With Love

Facebook recently notified me of an attempt to log into my account from Iceland and advised me to reset my account if I had not made the attempt. As I live 1,130 miles away from Iceland and have  never been there in my life,  someone was obviously trying to hack into my Facebook account.  But why?  It’s only a Facebook account not an American Express Platinum Card account or a Coutts bank account.   Anyway, I reset the account straight away.

Ten minutes after resetting my account I had another message from Facebook informing me of another attempt on my account from Iceland. Again, I went through the process of resetting my account. Of course, at this point I started to try and make sense of these events.  I started to think about Facebook’s security arrangements and whether they were robust enough. My thoughts also featured the risks I and other users are exposed to by virtue of our affinity for the social networking site.

As someone who works in the Risk Management industry, there are some risks I am willing to accept, but most I would rather mitigate.  Without further ado, risk assessment mode kicked in and all my thoughts were now prefixed with different ‘what ifs.’

What if Facebook was under attack, how long would it be before this cyberspace fortress surrenders in defeat? What would then happen to the personal details of over 400 million users?

What if Facebook employees have sold my personal details, and those of other Facebook users, to trade rivals, criminals or other unscrupulous types?  Afterall, there is precedent for this type of behaviour.  A few days ago account details of iTunes customers were on sale for 10p each in China.  In November 2009, a T-mobile employee sold thousands of customers details to a rival firm. In August 2008, over a million American Express, Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest Bank customer details were sold directly on ebay.

What if Facebook really has links with the CIA and Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is snooping on us all. Afterall, Mark has previously been accused of hacking into the systems and emails of the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – the brothers he is alleged to have stolen the idea for Facebook from, and to whom he paid $65m in an out of court settlement.

I also then remembered a story I had previously read about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook accounts.  According to  Silicon Alley Insider (SAI), “on at least one occasion in 2004, Mark used private login data taken from Facebook’s servers to break into Facebook members’ private email accounts and read their emails–at best, a gross misuse of private information.”

Ultimately, my risk assessment led me to conclude that I needed to take steps to mitigate the security risks posed, not only by  the cyberspace terrorists, but also by Facebook staff, Mark Zuckerberg himself,  as well as, other Facebook users.

Please look out for my follow-up post “Mitigating My Facebook Risk Exposure” coming soon.


10 responses to “My Facebook Account Under Attack

  1. Well done! Good subject and very timely. The constant changing of privacy settings to enabled which have previously been disabled, led me to decide some time ago, that if I don’t want it known, I will not put it on Facebook, or any other online application!

    • Thanks S. Karen. Facebook security is becoming, or has become a joke. The safest bet, like you said, is: “if you don’t want it known, [ don’t] put it on Facebook.”

  2. Good post as usual. At least this will serve as a wake-up call to those that share any information on Facebook and other Social network sites including those of their children. WAKE UP!

  3. Pingback: Mitigating My Facebook Risk Exposure | SkyeNoor

  4. I have always approached technology with a little bit of caution anyway so adopting a unique cyber identity or posing as lagbaja i say work well and as others have stated don’t put what you don’t want others to see but then it is a very lonely world now sometimes we get carried away and just come unto the internet and pour out our souls…oh well you live and learn.

    • Hi Tai, I agree that interacting on the web is the only form of communication for some people. This is the more reason why they should adopt a cyberspace profile to protect their identity. We sure do live and learn. Lagbaja is a great artist 🙂

  5. Its funny though. I have always known that there are shadowy figures monitoring our online activities. Nobody is safe.
    But I used to be amazed at how Nigerians in Nigeria put all their info online (you check them out yourself via info on their profile: address, phone number, email address, married to, children’s names, employer, etc. But then again, I realised, they have little to lose and who will swindle a Nigerian online -he’s got to try hard! Moreover, they don’t have a lot of Big Brother concerns, we do!

    • Shams, spot on ! You couldn’t be more right. “Who will swindle a Nigerian online -he’s got to try hard! ” – this has really got me in stiches 🙂

  6. A truly beneficial publish by you my good friend. We have bookmarked this web page and can are available back again following several days to verify for almost any new posts that you just make.

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