Facebook Is Insecure

Alfred Essa, The Nose, Jan 28, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

All Alfred Essa's Facebook friends (including myself) received an 'urgent help needed' message from him over Facebook. It turns out, however, that the person in question was a scammer, having somehow hacked into Essa's account. In this post, Essa examines Facebook's login and determines that it does not use secure sockets layer (SSL). That is rather a surprise, and it means that if you are accessing Facebook over (say) a public wireless connection, your password can be lifted by someone 'sniffing' your communications. I've seen this before, where people hacked into people's blog accounts. As a general rule, do not log on to sites in public unless you know they are secure.
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