Feeds

Facebook sues Canadian smut firm over hacking

Nice N' Sleazy

Security for virtualized datacentres

Facebook is suing a Canadian skin-flick firm for trying to hack into its website.

The porno outfit, which trades online under the name SlickCash, along with a number of individuals in Toronto allegedly tried to access Facebook's servers at least 200,000 times over two weeks in June. Istra Holdings Inc., a firm affiliated with SlickCash, is named alongside individuals Brian Fabian and Josh Raskin as defendants in Facebook's amended complaint. The suit also names Ming Wu and six as yet unnamed defendants.

Facebook filed the amended complaint last Wednesday after obtaining court orders forcing ISPs Rogers Communications and Look Communications to divulge subscriber information, the Toronto Star reports.

It's not terribly clear what data was accessed, much less the goals of the alleged attack. Court papers (PDF) allege the defendants uploaded scripted commands to a server run by a firm called Accretive to "gain unauthorised access and launch malicious code" on Facebook's site.

Facebook encourages users to post personal information such as birth date, hometown, email address, work details and even phone numbers online. This information is shared with a user's "friends" and, in a lot of cases, other on any network a user cares to join. The social networking utility boasts a membership of 34m users.

Any amount Facebook might hope to gain from this suit is surely outweighed by the damage to its already poor reputation for privacy. More than anything else the lawsuit emphasises that Facebook is an insecure place to post personal information. Since Facebook's business model, such as it is, relies on people coughing up this information, that's hardly a good thing.

SlickCash's alleged actions are also a bit of a puzzle. Experience suggests Facebook users are more than happy to allow access to all sorts of confidential info in return for nothing much more than a game. utility or pair of virtual magic beans. If someone wants user information then writing applications rather than straightforward brute-force hacking might be a more productive approach, you might think. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.