Our users' accounts not compromised: Facebook

Published: 18 November, 2011 06:56 IST | Sheetal Sukhija |

Hack-scarred networking site says over 500 million Indian users are quite safe and there is nothing to worry

Hack-scarred networking site says over 500 million Indian users are quite safe and there is nothing to worry

The global 'hack attack' on the world's virtual face Facebook has surely sent shivers down the spines of over 500 million of users in India, raising questions about the security measures adopted by the popular networking site.

Pic for representation/ Thinkstock
But the hack-scarred social networking site has maintained that 'security of users topped their list of priorities and no user accounts were compromised'.

Many analysts worldwide too have listed out simple guidelines to help users secure their accounts. However, Facebook has said that Indian users are quite safe and there is nothing to fear.

Safety first
"Protecting Facebook users from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us. Users' photos are not being transferred to an unwanted sites and no accounts have been compromised.

We are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms, and to take action against those responsible for these types of content," said the official statement issued by Facebook.

The porn malware that was doing the rounds have led many to even quit the site.

'All sites vulnerable'
Cyber security experts are debating that although vulnerability is high on the website, it is the same for any site on the Internet.

"To a very large extent it is the user who needs to be careful and fully aware of what he/she is sharing. There are some known problems that the social networking site has already addressed to safeguard user information, however, there are certain unknown problems that cannot be stopped.
For a website, it is not possible to track every single thing that is posted. User discretion is very important. Why just Facebook? Malicious content is sent to people via mail as well.

In that case should we cast the blame on email providers and tell them to scan every single mail being sent to users?" asked Rohit Srivastwa, founder of a white-hacker club.

Vijay Mukhi, Advisor, Cyber Security, Government of India, said, "Facebook has shifted the blame on browser vulnerability. But it is time that the social networking site puts its foot down against malware and looks at ways to secure the site from such attacks.

It is true that often such instances go unreported, making it difficult for the affected site to track down offenders. But it is equally important for the governments to understand that cybercrime is a global issue.

Global menace
"We need an international cyber crime resolution body to deal with such problems. Such problems won't end, whether it is this social networking site, or any other - unless a foolproof security mechanism is brought in place.
Facebook too has issued a set of simple guidelines advising users to follow them to stay safe.  Security is an issue everywhere online.

"It's important to be aware of the risks and learn how to protect your accounts and your computer. It is important to protect yourself from scams, viruses, and hacks that can infect your computer or take over your Facebook account, annoying and possibly harming you and your friends," suggested Facebook Security.

Hack aftermath: Schools, colleges and companies ban social networking sites

Fearing a deluge of malicious content following the scare, a few colleges and privates companies blocked all social networking sites on their official servers, apparently to save their respective students and employees the embarrassment of being redirected to porn links.

A few IT companies blocked such sites temporarily as they feared a virus attack on their servers. While students from various colleges and schools expressed their displeasure, institutions explained that it was in their best interest.
A few advertising agencies that banned such sites claimed that their work had been slowed down because of the ban. Meanwhile, the cyber crime department has switched to vigilant mode.
"We are looking into the matter and we will study it closely after which we would take a call on how to deal with the situation," said S Murugan, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), CID.

Facebook security guidelines
Remember what you choose, what you share and whom you share with 
Be careful when accessing or sending information over an unsecured public wireless network 
Turn on login approvals
Try a one-time password when using public computers
Keep your security information updated
Make sure you're logging in from a legitimate Facebook page 
Don't click on links or open attachments that look suspicious. If it looks weird or sounds too good to be true, don't believe it

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