Colin Powell's Facebook page defaced

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has had a few juicy things to say about ex-president George Bush over the last couple of days - or the person using his Facebook account has, at any rate.

Powell is the latest high-profile figure to fall victim to account hijackers, who have used the opportunity to post private photos of Bush, along with a few well-chosen thoughts.

These included the assertion that Bush belongs to the Ku Klux Klan and that his family are 'puppets of the Illuminati'.

The appearance of the photos indicates that the hacker is Guccifer, who snaffled them from Bush's email accounts last month. In an interview with Smoking Gun, Guccifer also claimed to have accessed accounts belonging to other members of the Bush family and their friends.

The offending items have now been removed from Facebook, and Powell's apologized for the 'stupid, obscene posts'. "Dear Friends, I'm happy to report that the hacking problem has been fixed," he says. "We have been working with FB this morning and they took immediate action to remedy the situation."

But, as Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos points out, this doesn't mean that no harm's been done - it's a question of how Powell's account was accessed in the first place.

"The most likely answer is that his password was compromised - but if that is the case, was it compromised because it was poorly-chosen and thus easy to crack? Or was it perhaps that the very same password was being unwisely used elsewhere by Colin Powell, on a site that was cracked?" he says.

"However the account was compromised, it might be time for Colin Powell to read up on password security - and ensure that his Facebook page is better defended in future."