When Spam Attacks

If you’ve been Facebook-watching at all the past week, chances are you’ve seen a lot more boobs than usual.

If you’ve been Facebook-watching at all the past week, chances are you’ve seen a lot more boobs than usual.

Last week, Facebook users reported seeing image- spam in their news feeds, “depicting acts of violence, pornography, mutilation and bestiality,” according to Ed Oswald of BetaNews.

The images are appearing on users’ walls as being “liked” by the user, despite the fact that the spam victims say they’ve never seen these images before.

Earlier this week, Facebook said they were investigating the issue, and on Wednesday, they released a statement promising that no user data was compromised during the attack. Facebook ensured the public that their team responded quickly in an effort to eliminate most of the spam caused by the attack.

“We are now working to improve our systems to better defend against similar attacks in the future” the statement said. The Social Network will forever be the target of internet attacks, given that the platform has the attention of more than 300 billion users worldwide.

Early allegations for the spam attacks pointed towards Anonymous, the internet hacking collective. Many thought Anonymous was responsible for the images, since rumours circulated earlier this month that the group was planning a Facebook attack on November 5th.

A recent article in Information Week, however, says that the spam attacks have nothing to do with Anonymous. Information Week columnist  Mathew J. Schwartz writes that “the pornographic image spam didn’t fit the Anonymous modus operandi.

On the 16th of November, The Globe and Mail reported that the wave of image spam had seemed to stop.

The attack highlights just how fast-and-loose Facebook’s security can be; Just the other day, a friend of mine asked me on Facebook if I knew how to get rid of weight loss ads that kept appearing on her wall. I advised her to contact Facebook security and change her password immeditaly, but it was days before the ads stopped appearing.

To prevent account hijacking, Facebook advises users never to cut and past unknown codes into the browser’s address bar, to ensure they’re using and up-to-date browser, and to report suspicious behavior.

Want to learn more about Facebook security? Check out this infographic, which says that less than 4% of the content shared on The Social Network is spam:

Has your Facebook account ever been hacked? Let us know about it in the comments section.

Infographic via Scribd.

@Amanda Cosco is a freelance writer, content queen & social media girl genius. To learn more about her, visit her professional blog here.