Facebook news feeds swamped with porn

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Facebook's taking down a flood of violent and pornographic images that have been showing up on users' news feeds.

The images include hardcore porn, a dead dog, extreme violence and even Justin Bieber engaging in a (Photoshopped) sex act. Invitations to click on links to videos are also appearing.

And, to make it even worse, victims don't see the images showing up on their news feeds themselves - the pictures appear only to the user's friends.

This means that it could take quite a while before some victims realise what's going on, while their friends sit in stunned silence.

It's not yet clear how the flood of images is being spread. It's been speculated that Anonymous might be responsible, given its well-publicized antipathy to Facebook.

But, so far, the group hasn't admitted to the hack - although it did yesterday have a bit of a go at Facebook, posting a document containing personal information about founder Mark Zuckerberg on Pastebin.
http://pastebin.com/yvwxkis5

More likely is some sort of malicious link that users have clicked on unawares.

"It isn't presently clear precisely how the offending content has been spread - whether users are falling for a clickjacking scheme, are being tagged in content without their knowledge, have poorly chosen privacy settings, have been tricked into installing malicious code, or have fallen victim to another vulnerability inside Facebook itself," says Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos.

"It's precisely this kind of problem which is likely to drive people away from the site. Facebook needs to get a handle on this problem quickly, and prevent it from happening on such a scale again."