Facebook Fail! Hacking, International Extortion, and Facebook’s Ineptitude.
Something bad is going on with Facebook.
Just one week ago, on February 8th, an Albanian hacker was given credit for hacking into over 1,000 very popular Facebook pages, many of which have over 100,000 fans. Over the next few days there were more Facebook pages hacked; at which time all existing administrators (those in charge of the fanpages) are removed from the page so that the hackers have complete control over the content and media that is shared on the page. Some of the affected pages contain new profile pictures with the words ‘Hacked by Omega’ and ‘Don’t afraid! You are hacked.’
One page administrator at Black Box Social Media, a social media marketing company out of Austin Texas, shares his story on one of their clients Facebook pages hacked. ‘On Sunday morning I logged onto Facebook to make an update to one of our clients accounts and found that my administrator privilege was no longer there. I contacted the other page administrator and the client themselves and found that all of our administration priveleges were revoked. At first I thought it was some sort of bug or mistake, but after a little searching on Google I found another Facebook Page administrator that had just posted that their Fan Page was hijacked. Upon visiting their fanpage I saw an administrators post that read: ‘Happy Valentine’s Day !’ The exact same post was posted on our clients page at the exact same time of day with the same spacing between the ‘y’ in Day and the exclamation point. I thought this had to be more than coincidence.”
In fact it was more than coincidence. The owners of that page had decided to fight back against the page hackers and began posting comments in response to the ‘Happy Valentine’s Day !’ post from their personal accounts.
Facebook Pages Hacked | Negotiations With A Hacker:
• Page Administrator: Would you mind giving us back our facebook page?
• Hacker: what will you give to us ?
• Page Administrator: We would like it very much if we could have our page back, please and thank you.
• Hacker: What will you give for example ?
• Page Administrator: 1 million dollars, give me your address and phone number.
• Hacker: 1pyapal in 500$
• Page Administrator: ok, whats the paypal account?
• Hacker: yes
• Page Owner: yes? How do i pay you on paypal without an email address?
• Hacker: give us an activated paypal will 500 $ , because we don’t have any activated.
• Page Owner: haha, your funny…..Ok, its done, now give back the page
• Hacker: HAHA , you aren’t so serious
• Page Owner: One thing is sure , we don’t remove page !
• Hacker: I repeat , It’s your choice !
• Page Owner: i put $500 in an account, how do I give you the account info?
• Hacker: We will talk tomorrow ! Good Night ! The page is SAFE !
At this point the Hacker’s messages drop off for about 16 hours, during which time many others express their support for the page owner to which he responds ‘yes, we are being extorted to get our facebook page back…no joke. Someone please help, cause facebook wont get back to us. the only way to reach them is by email.’
The owner of this page contacted us to say, ‘I am the owner of Volcano Ecigs. I am quite pissed at this whole situation. I have contacted the FBI, Honolulu Police, every email through Facebook and still no reply. No one can help cause FaceBook is not corresponding. They just threatened me again today telling me that my page would be deleted again. If my page gets deleted, then I am filing a lawsuit against FaceBook. This is ridiculous!!!’
One administrator that had their Facebook pages hacked expressed his frustration by saying, “I think it’s ironic that I cannot add more than a couple of friends without Facebook shutting me down, but some Algerian hacker kid can add himself as an administrator to well over 1,000 fanpages, delete all existing admins, and extort money from the rightful page owners all without Facebook seeming to care.”
Another Facebook page administrator that we interviewed told us, “[It is] Just amazing how at the end of the day Facebook is an “ad platform” rather than a business marketing platform and when your business is held hostage and you are being extorted for money by the hijackers Facebook is nowhere to be found with no guidelines or methods for communicating something like this. You would think they would realize how faulty their security is after MarkZ’s profile was hacked not a month ago.”
So is it extortion, or just some hackers having fun? Why are Facebook pages hacked? One unnamed source that was affected by this recent security breach has a different theory as to why this is happening. ‘In the research that I have done, these hackers have a political agenda with their actions. I believe that with the success had by the Egyptian people last week, that used Facebook to rally support, these hackers are going to release some sort of message through the thousands of pages that have been taken over, effectively getting their message out to millions and millions of people simultaneously throughout the world.’ Whether or not this is true, time will only tell.
At a time when more and more business owners have begun using Facebook fanpages and Facebook’s pay-per-click advertising to promote their businesses, security breaches such as this mass scale hacking effort will likely make many business owners reconsider how much time, effort and money they put into this marketing avenue until these issues are resolved.
As of the publishing of this article, Facebook has been completely unresponsive to any of our inquiries on this matter.