Facebook slammed by porn attack, investigation ongoing [updated]

Are pornographic images invading your Facebook news feed? We have yet to see it here at BGR, but ZDNET recently reported that “gory, violent pictures” and “hardcore pornography” are spreading across the social network. Facebook says it is getting to the bottom of the problem, but hasn’t yet revealed a solution or how the fiasco started. “Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms,” Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes said. “We have recently experienced an increase in reports and we are investigating and addressing the issue.” It is unclear who is behind the attack. As The Washington Post points out, the flood could be a trick played by the now infamous hacker group Anonymous, in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day, which occurred on November 5th, but the group typically stakes its claim on major attacks. The images, which are apparently spreading like a wild fire, could also be the result of unsuspecting users having been tricked into clicking malicious links. Updated with statement from Facebook. 

Facebook’s official statement on the matter is as follows:

“Recently, we experienced a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability. Our efforts have drastically limited the damage caused by this attack, and we are now in the process of investigating to identify those responsible. During this spam attack users were tricked into pasting and executing malicious JavaScript in their browser URL bar causing them to unknowingly share this offensive content. Our engineers have been working diligently on this self-XSS vulnerability in the browser. We’ve built enforcement mechanisms to quickly shut down the malicious Pages and accounts that attempt to exploit it. We have also been putting those affected through educational checkpoints so they know how to protect themselves. We’ve put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people.”

Read [ZDNET] Read [The Washington Post]

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