Is your Facebook account one of them?
Recently, a well known hacker who calls himself Kirllos has announced that he is selling the usernames and passwords for 1.5 million Facebook accounts.
Also, Facebook has again changed your privacy. In fact, now you have no choice about what is shared publicly. If the information is in your account, it is now public and also made available to “Facebook partners.” More on that after I discuss the accounts for sale and it’s impact.
1.5 million Facebook accounts – just think about that number for a moment.
While social media account information like this has been sold before, what makes this different is never before has such a large number of accounts been sold like this. With Facebook claiming 400 million users world wide, this means 1 out of about 270 accounts is now compromised and login credentials are up for grabs to anyone willing to pay. There is a very good chance that if your account is not one of them, someone on your friend list is.
These people don’t know their account information is stolen.
Their friends don’t know it is stolen. This makes these accounts ripe for scams or sending others to websites that will infect them. Maybe you’ll get a Facebook message from a friend saying they need some money sent to them. Maybe you will just discover that you were posting on your mother’s wall to visit a site that would embarrass you (as well as your mother). Worse, that site infect your mom’s computer with malware (oh yeah, she won’t know it till her bank account is empty).
Those Facebook accounts are being sold for $25-$45 for a thousand accounts.
So maybe $38000 may not seem like so much. Just about 2 cents each. Maybe the hacker has more information to sell. Maybe the information was so easy to get, he’ll get more to sell. A pretty good deal for the buyer. Think of all the information you give in Facebook so people can find you. Think what someone could do with that information.
The hacker has already sold 700,000 of those Facebook accounts.
Maybe yours was one of them. Maybe it was your daughter’s.
Now, about Facebook’s privacy change.
Facebook has once again changed what it reveals about your profile and who to. Details that you may have finally figured out how to keep private after Facebook’s last privacy change are again being made known to the world by the people who claim you have no privacy “so get over it.” That would be Facebook, in case you have not heard.
Facebook is also making all your profile information available to some of it’s “partners.”
This is by default and it is right now. You were not asked if they could share your email, phone number, age, religion, or political views with any website they wanted to. Right now, it is 3 websites. I am sure that will change as soon as someone else wants to pay for the information. This will allow Facebook and these partners to know by name who visits websites and does what on those websites. This is really pretty scary. Only spyware currently steals this kind of information about your internet use right now.
This is way beyond anything any online company has done before.
Your not going to be an anonymous IP address with Facebook’s partners.
They will know your name and everything in your profile. They will also know all about your friends profiles too. To put that another way, when your friend visits a website, your information is provided also. Yes you read that right. The person you may or may not know really good may be sharing your information with a website you would never go near.
Here is a quote from Facebook’s page:
“If your friend connects with an application or website, it will be able to access your name, profile picture, gender, user ID, and information you have shared with “everyone.””
“when one of your friends visits a pre-approved website or application, it will receive General Information about you…”
I’ve heard worse but not had time to read through the legalese that follows Facebook’s complete fiction of how they value your privacy.
In my opinion, Facebook is the only social platform where using users to spam other users is normal procedure.
Similar behavior on nearly any other site (even Twitter) is frowned on by most. I am really not looking forward to a world where my cell phone rings every time someone I know lays an egg in Farmville. I really don’t like the possibility of some past friend who I have remade contact with on Facebook giving any of my profile information to some porn site they visited. This is a potential outcome of the way things are set up currently.
Of course, what if the Facebook account of my friend gets stolen and sold like this post started?
The person with my friends account then uses his Facebook ID on a website. Even if you could trust all your friends on Facebook not to share your info with some website you would never approve of, your profile information could still be used somewhere if their account is one of those stolen. The abuses of this seem to be endless. Hackers could have a field day.
And they don’t really have to hack now do they? Just become your long lost “friend.”
This is not the post I was planning to make this weekend, but I thought it was important to let you know that many Facebook accounts have been compromised. You may want to change the password on your account before you discover the hard way your’s is one of those stolen. You may want to suspend your account after I told you about the privacy change. What you should do is share this information with your friends on Facebook as they probably don’t know.