Facebook Groups Hijacked by Control Your Info Intruder

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook was infiltrated on Tuesday by an intruder looking to send the message "Control Your Info". The intruder, who might style himself something of a virtual Boondock Saint, didn't cause any significant damage, but instead sought to show people that they need to be as careful with their online information as they are with protecting their safety offline.

The attack, if you can call it that, didn't target individual users in an attempt to scoop sensitive data. Instead, it went after Facebook "Groups", online organizations within the social networking platform that allow people to join others of common interests and backgrounds. For instance, I belong to a Facebook group for the graduate school I attend, and also for personal interests like my favorite video game and sports team.

"We Have Officially Hijacked Your Facebook Group"

According to reports, several hundred of these groups received this message:

"Hello, we hereby announce that we have officially hijacked your Facebook group. This means we control a certain part of the information about you on Facebook. If we wanted we could make you appear in a bad way which could damage your image severely." (Source: cnet.com)

That's certainly a scary thought. The message went on:

"For example we could rename your group and call it something very inappropriate and nasty, like 'I support pedophile's rights.' But have no fear -- we won't. We just renamed it Control Your Info. Because this is really all we want:

"Think about the safety in your social media life to the same extent you do in your real life.

"Watch the video clip for more information or check out www.controlyour.info for more tips soon!

"We promise to restore your group name and leave the group by the end of next week. Don't worry -- we won't mess anything up."

Facebook Downplays Intrusion

In a way, it's a noble message brought to users in an awfully shocking and, let's face it, unacceptable way. However, some people -- particularly those who refuse to join Facebook because of privacy concerns -- have suggested this is the kind of tactic necessary in order to get people to realize their information, and their lifestyles, are at stake.

For its part, Facebook is trying to douse the fire by admitting only a few groups have been affected and that no harm has been done. "There has been no hacking and there is no confidential information at risk," a company spokesperson said. "We are still investigating this situation, but an extremely small number of groups have been affected." (Source: msn.com)

The attack doesn't so much highlight the vulnerability of people who use Facebook without scrutiny -- that's been known since the site's beginnings -- but instead draws attention to the growing number of invasions being launched upon the social networking apparatus, which has now passed the 300 million member mark.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet