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Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page gets hacked.

             A bug allowed an unidentified person to post a message on Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's fan page.

The odd message that garnered more than 1,800 "likes" and more than 400 comments before it was taken down was: "Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn't Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a 'social business' the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? http://bit.ly/fs6rT3 What do you think? #hackercup2011"

zuckerberg page's-hack

A Facebook spokesman provided this e-mail statement today: "A bug enabled status postings by unauthorized people on a handful of public pages. The bug has been fixed."

Whoever is responsible only had the ability to post on the page and did not have access to private data on the Facebook account, Joe Sullivan, chief security officer at Facebook, said in a follow up interview with CNET this morning. "It was a very limited bug in that it only applied to the ability to post," he said.

Specifically, the bug was in an API (application programming interface) that allows publishing functionality on the site, said Ryan McGeehan, security manager for incident response at Facebook.

Only a handful of high-profile accounts were affected, they said, declining to offer exactly whose pages were targeted. They also declined to comment on whether the hack earlier this week of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page was related. Someone had posted a message on the official's page saying he would be stepping down next year.

Asked if they knew who was responsible for the breaches, Sullivan said he could not comment further because it is an active investigation.

"It's astonishing the level of speculation without accurate information" in published reports, he said. "There was the (false) assumption that there was unauthorized access to information...Our commitment is to try and prevent that and respond incredibly quickly when something happens."

Source :CNet.com January 26, 2011

A day after Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page is hacked , Facebook lets users turn on crypto

             Facebook announced today that it is now offering users the ability to use encryption to protect their accounts from being compromised when they are interacting with the site, something security experts have been seeking for a while.

The site currently uses HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) when users log in with their passwords, but now everything a user does on the site will be encrypted if he turns the feature on, the company said in a blog post.

Enabling full-session HTTPS eliminates the ability for attackers to use tools like the Firefox plug-in called Firesheep to snoop on communications between a person's computer and the site's server over Wi-Fi.

Facebook HTTPS

"Starting today we'll provide you with the ability to experience Facebook entirely over HTTPS. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries, or schools," the post says. "The option will exist as part of our advanced security features, which you can find in the Account Security section of the Account Settings page."

Using HTTPS may mean that some pages will take a little bit longer to load, and some third-party applications aren't currently supported, the company said. The option is rolling out over the next few weeks. "We hope to offer HTTPS as a default whenever you are using Facebook sometime in the future," the post says.

"Every user's Facebook page is unique and it's been complex pulling together all the different parts," said Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan when asked what the time frame is to making HTTPS the default setting. "It's an interesting technical challenge for the company."

While banking and e-commerce sites use encryption, social media and other sites have been somewhat slow to move in that direction--the exception being Google. Google has always offered Gmail users the ability to use HTTPS and set it as a default a year ago. The company also offers encryption for use with Google Docs and Web search.

Source : CNet.comJanuary 27, 2011

Facebook awarded over $360 million damages against spammer

          Facebook's security team have reason to celebrate as they have claimed another scalp in the ongoing fight against spammers on the social network.

A post on Facebook's Security page announced that this week a federal court has awarded the firm a whopping $360,500,000 in statutory damages and issued a permanent injunction against spammer Philip Porembski.

US district court judge Jeremy Fogel made the judgement against Porembski, who ran a firm called PP Web Services. Porembski was alleged to have obtained the login details of at least 116,000 Facebook users, and sent more than 7.2 million spam messages to victims' online friends.

facebook security

Some of the spam messages directed users to phishing websites that stole usernames and passwords, while others made money for Porembski every time someone clicked on the links.

A computer discovered by the Sacramento County Sherrif's Department, which was thought to belong to Philip Porembski, was found to contain more than 160,000 Facebook login credentials, as well as automated scripts to access Facebook and send messages.

In a brief statement, Facebook said they were "pleased with the win, which is just another result in an ongoing enforcement effort."

Facebook claimed that it received more than 8000 complaints from users as a result of the spam campaign, and more than 4500 users had deactivated their accounts.

As we discussed in Sophos's recent Security Threat Report 2011, spam is certainly a big problem on Facebook, and it's good to see legal action being taken against the people behind it.

Source : nakedsecurity.sophos.com January 28, 2011

Updated Android Facebook app introduces ‘Deals’

             Facebook has introduced a rather useful update for its Android app. The latest version now includes a “Deals” section, which is an addition to the “Places” tab that was introduced a few months back. With this tab, you’ll be able to easily find deals that are near you, “Check in” in Foursquare-style, and receive freebies. Aside from that, version 1.5.1 also includes Facebook chat, allowing you to easily keep in touch with your Facebook friends, along with push notifications that require Android 2.2 and above. The update is already available in the Android Market and you might want to give it a test drive.

facebook android

Facebook has just published a wall post about the update. There are no details available about how Deals will work on the Android app.

Source : ubergizmo.com January 28, 2011

Oregon Trail is coming to Facebook.

             Oregon Trail, the strategy game first launched in 1971, is finally coming to Facebook. So how will the Facebook edition of The Oregon Trail stack up to the original?

Ford the river or caulk the whole wagon and float the thing across? If you know the answer to that question, then chances are you played a whole lot of The Oregon Trail as a kid, probably on one of those ancient Mac desktops. Which also may mean that you're really looking forward to the Facebook edition of The Oregon Trail, which is slated to launch on February 2.

Oregon Trail  Facebook

Granted, you may already be fed up with receiving a gazillion updates a day from your farmer friends. But we at Horizons are of the firm opinion that if you have to play one Facebook game – or read updates about one – then it might as well be The Oregon Trail, the "educational" computer game that first launched in 1971. It's got it all: rabbits, diseases, oxen, and pitched battles.

And according to The Learning Company, which helped produce The Oregon Trail port, the latest edition of the strategy game will remarkable true to the original. "We're pretty much beside ourselves with excitement," reads copy on the official Oregon Trail Facebook page. "Who will be the first to get dysentery? Only time will tell." Indeed!

As the Monitor recently reported, the size of the social gaming market has grown exponentially in the past year, as more and more companies seek to build off the success of games such as FarmVille.

"Historically, video games were bought at Wal-Mart and played at home or on a PC," Justin Smith, the founder of Inside Network, told the Monitor last year. "What Facebook has done is open up gaming to a much wider audience – it has provided a platform for people who wouldn't even normally consider themselves gamers. It's changing the way that the gaming business is going to work. This is the biggest revolution in the gaming industry in quite a while."

Source : csmonitor.com January 27, 2011

Facebook Investor Mail.ru Falls Most in Month on Valuation Doubt

             Mail.ru, a Russian investor in Facebook Inc., slumped by the most in more than a month after a poll showed skepticism about Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s recent estimate of the largest social-networking site’s value.

mail_ru

The stock dropped 6.5 percent to $35.50 by the 4:30 p.m. close in London, its biggest fall since 16 Dec.

Sixty-nine percent of investors say Facebook is overvalued after Goldman Sachs invested $450 million in a deal that put the company’s worth at $50 billion, according to the quarterly poll of 1,000 Bloomberg customers who are investors, traders or analysts. Only 10 percent of respondents say Facebook’s valuation is appropriate; 4 percent say it’s worth more.

Mail.ru gained as much as 41 percent in its London trading debut on Nov. 5 after raising $912 million in the city’s biggest initial public offering since July.

Source : bloomberg.com January 28, 2011

The Latest Pitfall for Litigants: That Trove of Facebook Pictures

             Looking to file a lawsuit over that slip and fall? Make sure you’ve got triplicate copies of your medical records, a lawyer who’s going to take your calls, and the patience of Job.

While you’re at it, you might also make sure that you’re social-networking sites are free of any pictures that might undermine your case. You know, like pictures of you throwing a javelin two days after you allegedly separated your shoulder in your fall in the restaurant.

Facebook Pictures

Because you can better believe the lawyers on the other side are going to be on your Facebook page like white on rice. As this Reuters Legal article points out: “It’s the latest litigation tactic in the online age . . . lawyers are trying to mine the private zones of Facebook and other social-media sites for photos, comments, status updates and other tidbits that might contradict what their opponents are saying in court.”

But wait, you say. Hold on. Aren’t my Facebook pictures private? Would a court really allow them as evidence?

The answers to those questions, youngster, are no and yes, respectively. “Increasingly, judges in civil cases are granting access to online caches that had formerly been considered off-limits,” reads the article.

Case in point: a personal-injury case in Erie, Pennsylvania described thusly in the story:

In 2007, a racecar driver named Bill McMillen sued the owners of a local track, Hummingbird Speedway, claiming that he was seriously injured and lost “the enjoyment of life” as a result of an accident on the track. The lawyer for the speedway, Gary Bax, said he checked out McMillen on Facebook and found comments and photos suggesting that after the accident, McMillen went on a fishing trip to Florida and attended the Daytona 500.

In September, according to the story, Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Henry Foradora granted the defendants’ motion to turn over the material, noting that Facebook and MySpace are specifically designed for sharing personal information.

“While it is conceivable that a person could use them as forums to divulge and seek advice on personal and private matters,” Judge Foradora wrote, “it would be unrealistic to expect that such disclosures would be considered confidential.”

Source : blogs.wsj.com January 28, 2011

Facebook’s Value Tops Amazon.com :Trails Only Google on Web

             Facebook Inc.’s valuation topped Amazon.com Inc., leaving the social-networking company behind only Google Inc. among U.S. Internet companies.

Facebook is valued at $82.9 billion on secondary exchange SharesPost Inc. and has jumped by more than 40 percent since mid-December. Amazon shares dropped as much as 9.5 percent today after a disappointing sales forecast, pushing its stock market value down to $75.2 billion.

Investor demand for Facebook is soaring on the private markets as advertisers pay for the attention of a user base that’s ballooned to more than 500 million. Ad spending on Facebook will more than double to $4.05 billion this year, according to researcher EMarketer Inc. LinkedIn Corp., the biggest networking site for professionals, said yesterday that it plans to raise $175 million in an initial share sale.

Facebook’s Value

The gains reflect the rising popularity of social media companies, which let users interact and carry out other tasks that were long unavailable, or only possible to a limited degree, on older Internet sites.

Facebook’s estimated worth surpassed that of EBay Inc., owner of the largest e-commerce market, late last year. It is still dwarfed by Google, the world’s biggest Internet search engine, which is worth $192 billion.

SharesPost, a marketplace for private company shares, bases value on such criteria as transactions, research estimates and venture-funding rounds. Facebook shares have sold for as much as $60 apiece on SharesPost this month, meaning some investors value the social-networking company at $136 billion.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led a $1.5 billion financing round in Palo Alto, California-based Facebook at a $50 billion valuation earlier this month.

Source : businessweek.com January 28, 2011

Facebook and Twitter for X-Box LIVE

             Social media integration is all the rage. Only a few months agoMicrosoft launched Xbox LIVE, an online multiplayer gaming network, in South Africa now it has announced the integration ofFacebook and Twitter into the product.

The new channel will only be available to X-Box Live Gold members.

The addition of Facebook and Twitter creates a social media element which Microsoft claims will add to the “depth of experience the Xbox LIVE service has to offer”. Xbox LIVE launched less than three months ago in six new EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) countries, which according to Microsoft makes a total of 35 LIVE enabled countries globally.

According to Microsoft over 630 000 hours of multiplayer gameplay have been accumulated across all six launch countries in that time.

Facebook and Twitter for X-Box LIVE

“Xbox LIVE now has over 30-million members across the world, each spending on average 40 hours a month, meaning that in total members are logging over 1-billion hours a month worldwide. We’re excited that you are now part of this,” says Microsoft.

The new Facebook and Twitter features allow the users to connect with friends while interacting with the gaming network on TV. Users are also able to share real-time status updates and photos with friends, check out photo galleries on the big screen or share your favourite gaming moments on Facebook right from their television. Users are able to read and post tweets via their Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE.

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