#Facebook got hacked Anonymously.


 

Facebook said on Friday it had been the target of an unidentified hacker group, but it found no evidence that user data was compromised.

Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,” the company said in a blog post posted on Friday afternoon, just before the three-day Presidents Day weekend. “The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised.

The social network, which says it has more than one billion active users worldwide, also said: “Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well.”

Facebook declined to comment on the motive or origin of the attack.

A security expert at another company with knowledge of the matter said he was told the Facebook attack appeared to have originated in China.

The FBI declined to comment, while the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Facebook’s announcement follows recent cyber attacks on other prominent websites. Twitter, the micro blogging social network, said earlier this month it had been hacked and that about 250,000 user accounts were potentially compromised, with attackers gaining access to information, including user names and email addresses.

Newspaper websites, including those of The New York Times (NYT.N), The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have also been infiltrated. Those attacks were attributed by the news organizations to Chinese hackers targeting coverage of China.

While Facebook said no user data was compromised, the incident could raise consumer concerns about privacy and the vulnerability of personal information stored within the social network.

Facebook has made several privacy missteps over the years because of the way it handled user data and it settled a privacy investigation with federal regulators in 2011.

Facebook said it spotted a suspicious file and traced it back to an employee’s laptop. After conducting a forensic examination of the laptop, Facebook said it identified a malicious file, then searched company-wide and identified “several other compromised employee laptops.”

Another person briefed on the matter said the first Facebook employee had been infected via a website where coding strategies were discussed.

The company also said it identified a previously unseen attempt to bypass its built-in cyber defenses and that new protections were added on February 1.

Because the attack used a third-party website, it might have been an early-stage attempt to penetrate as many companies as possible.

If they followed established patterns, the attackers would learn about the people and computer networks at all the infected companies. They could then use that data in more targeted attacks to steal source code and other intellectual property.

In its statement, Facebook said the attack was launched using a “zero-day,” or previously unknown flaw in its software that exploited its Java built-in protections.

“Zero-day” attacks are rarely discovered and even more rarely disclosed. They are costly to launch and often suggest government sponsorship.

In January 2010, Google reported it had been penetrated via a “zero-day” flaw in an older version of the Internet Explorer Web browser. The attackers were seeking source code and were also interested in Chinese dissidents, and Google reduced its operations in the country as a result.

Attention to cybersecurity has ratcheted up since then and this week President Barack Obama issued an executive order seeking higher safety standards for critical infrastructure.

Other companies stand to benefit more from comprehensive legislation, which has stalled in Congress. Republicans have opposed additional regulations that would come with mandatory security standards.

 

[-TOI]

 

Working together to Fight Bad Ads, Ads Integrity Alliance.


 

June 14th 2012: StopBadware is announcing the formation of an industry partnership to combat bad ads. Google is pleased to be a founding member of the Ads Integrity Alliance, along with AOL, Facebook, Twitter and the IAB.

Since its beginnings in 2006, StopBadware has enabled many websites, service providers and software providers to share real-time information in order to warn users and significantly eliminate malware (such as viruses, phishing sites and malicious downloads) on the web. We believe that the Ads Integrity Alliance can make a similarly important contribution to the goal of identifying and removing bad ads from all corners of the web.

In 2011, Google alone disabled more than 130 million ads and 800,000 advertisersthat violated our policies on our own and partners’ sites, such as ads that promotecounterfeit goods and malware. You can read more about our efforts to review adsand also see the numbers over time. Other players in the industry also have significant initiatives in this area. But when Google or another website shuts down a bad actor, that scammer often simply tries to advertise elsewhere.

No individual business or law enforcement agency can single-handedly eliminate these bad actors from the entire web. As StopBadware has shown, the best way to tackle common problems across a highly interconnected web, and to move the whole web forward, is for the industry to work together, build best practices and systems, and make information sharing simple.

The alliance led by StopBadware will help the industry fight back together against scammers and bad actors. In particular, it will:

  • Develop and share definitions, industry policy recommendations and best practices
  • Serve as a platform for sharing information about bad actors
  • Share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies
Bad ads reduce trust in the web and in online advertising. The web puts the world’s information at your fingertips and has given everyone a platform to speak, listen, engage and unite. The growth that businesses generate from online advertising has enabled an enormous part of this platform. We think the web is worth fighting for, which is why we strongly support the Ads Integrity Alliance’s efforts to tackle bad actors who seek to damage it.

(via Google Blog, Eric Davis, Global Public Policy Manager)

Facebook Buys Mobile Discovery Service Glancee


Facebook has scooped up another startup in its path toward mobile dominance. This time, it’s Glancee, an ambient location-based service that competes with Highlight.

From Glancee’s home page:

“We started Glancee in 2010 with the goal of bringing together the best of your physical and digital worlds. We wanted to make it easy to discover the hidden connections around you, and to meet interesting people. Since then Glancee has connected thousands of people, empowering serendipity and pioneering social discovery.

“We are therefore very excited to announce that Facebook has acquired Glancee and that we have joined the team in Menlo Park to build great products for over 900 million Facebook users. We’ve had such a blast connecting people through Glancee, and we truly thank our users for being a part of the Glancee community.”

Less than a month ago, Facebook acquired the mobile-based photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion, and the world’s largest social network has expressed its sights are set on mobile.

Glancee fits the bill. It was one of the hot passive location startups at SXSW this year, along with Highlight and Sonar.

Facebook’s just weeks away from an initial public offering. The company announced its shares would be priced at $28 to $35, putting the company at a valuation of $85 billion and $95 billion. Facebook did not disclose the terms of the Glancee acquisition.

-(via Mashable)

Facebook Adds “Listen” Button to Bands, Artist’s Pages.


Justin Bieber Facebook

Facebook is adding on Tuesday a “Listen” button to some its band and artist pages that give users an easy way to listen to their favorite songs directly on the site.

As of now, fans can listen to songs from artists such as Justin Bieber and Linkin Park to former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash directly on Facebook via various music services such as Spotify and MOG via the Facebook itself. Although the “Listen” button is only available on some artist pages, more are expected to get the button added soon.

Located next to the “Like” and “Message” buttons on an artist’s page, the “Listen” button will connect users to the music service they use most frequently and play popular songs from that artist. The first time you click on the button, a prompt from one of the participating services will pop up and ask for you to grant access

Since the music services are apps connected with Facebook Timeline, listening activity will be published to your page while listening.

Will you listen to artists directly on Facebook? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook buys Instagram for $1Billion.


Instagram_logo

Facebook has just finished a deal to acquire mobile photo sharing app Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram will remain an independently branded standalone app that’s separate from Facebook, but the services will increase their ties to each other. The transaction should go through this quarter pending some standard closing procedures

Last year, documents for a standalone Facebook mobile photo sharing app were attained by us. Now it seems Facebook would rather buy Instagram which comes with a built-in community of photographers and photo lovers, while simultaneously squashing a threat to its dominance in photo sharing.

At 27 million registered users on iOS alone, Instagram was increasingly positioning itself as a social network in its own right — not just a photo-sharing app. And it was clear that some users were doing more of the daily sharing activities on Instagram rather than Facebook’s all-in-one mobile apps, which had to be cluttered with nearly every feature of the desktop site.

With the Instagram for Android launch last week, Instagram was going to get to 50 million registered users in a heartbeat after racking up more than 1 million in the first 24 hours. And with that kind of momentum, Facebook felt like it had to move — fast. After all, photo sharing and tagging are arguably what *made* Facebook.

Whatever you think of the price given the fact that Instagram had no revenues, the reality is it was going to be worth whatever Mark Zuckerberg felt like paying for it. Both Google and Facebook had approached Instagram several times over the past 18 months, but the talks clearly didn’t result in a deal. So Facebook was going to have to offer a huge premium over the last valuation for Systrom and the board to take any deal seriously.

[Instagram’s founders from left, Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Portrait by Cody Pickens]

With the deal, Instagram will gain massive design and engineering resources by joining forces with Facebook, a big change after running as a famously lean company with just a handful of employees. Still, the deal seems to let Instagram stay somewhat independent and maintain some of its company culture. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom writes in a blog post, “It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away.”

This is a really big departure from the way Zuckerberg has historically run Facebook as asingle product. He has always been insistent that everything feed back into Facebook itself. Keeping Instagram as a separate product and brand is reminiscent of what Google has done with keeping YouTube and Android as separate fiefdoms within the company following their acquisitions.

Instagram’s investors included Benchmark Capital, Greylock Capital, Thrive Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, along with angel investors including Quora’s Adam D’Angelo, Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca and Square and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

The early investors must be thrilled with the price. From our understanding, the later investors, who put capital into the company at a $500 million valuation, seem happy with basically getting a 2X in a few days after the money was wired last Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg posted the following letter to his Timeline about the purchase:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

What You Shouldn’t Post on Your Facebook Page If You Want a Job


Why-employers-rejected-candidates.jpg

Kashmir Hill, Forbes’ indispensable privacy blogger, posted this chart today, drawn from a survey of employers. Three things to note. 1) 95 percent of employers say they use social media sites to ferret out more information about job candidates. 2) If these employers informed these job candidates why they were dropped, Facebook as we know it might not exist.

That’s not because social media is bad for job candidates, per se, but rather that the sense people have that they are just talking with their homies would evaporate. It would become clear that Facebook is, in fact, a quasi-public forum in which what you say attaches very strongly to your identity. It’s the persistence that makes it different from “real life” and it’s the persistence that Timelines is going to highlight.

Facebook To Launch Music Platform With Spotify, Rdio & MOG.


Facebook intends to launch its long-rumored music service next month with Spotify, MOG and Rdio as three of the company’s launch partners.

The music and media platform will be announced at Facebook’s f8 developer conference on Sept. 22. It will allow users to listen to music from within Facebook.com. Evidence of Facebook’s music platform first surfaced in the code of Facebook’s video chat service.

According to two sources familiar with the matter, Facebook will not directly host or stream any music or media. Instead, it will rely on partners to provide the content. This is in contrast to Apple, Google and Amazon’s strategy of hosting music content on their servers. Facebook’s plan is to become a platform for media content in the same way it is a platform for applications and games.

One of our sources specifically mentioned three music services as launch partners: Spotify, Rdio and MOG. It’s unclear whether Facebook has lined up other launch partners for its music platform or whether Facebook will open up its platform to other developers. One of our sources noted, however, that Facebook doesn’t like playing favorites, so our bet is that Facebook will open up its music platform to other third-party developers.

We’ve also heard whispers that Facebook intends for this platform to go beyond music — for example, it’s possible that Netflix could stream movies through Facebook. However, we don’t know if Facebook will go beyond the music platform announcement at f8.

UPDATE:

“There’s nothing new to announce,” a Facebook spokesperson told us. “Many of the most popular music services around the world are integrated with Facebook and we’re constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations.”

The Sims Social, the fastest growing game on facebook:


The Sims Social, a reboot of Electronic Arts’ bestselling $4 billion games franchise, has only been out of beta since last Thursday — but it already has 4.6 million people playing it daily, according to AppData, a traffic tracking service from Inside Network.

That makes The Sims Social the number 10 app on Facebook overall, and the number 6 game behind Zynga hits CityVille, FarmVille, Empires & Allies, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Pioneer Trail. Not bad for a week’s work. At this rate, The Sims Social should overtake Facebook game leader CityVille (which has 14 million daily players) sometime in September.

If The Sims doesn’t ring any bells, or even if it does remind you of many hours of addictive domestic gameplay, you may want to stay far away from this app for the sake of your productivity. As in its PC-based predecessors, which sold more than 140 million copies, The Sims Social starts with you creating an avatar, your Sim, who is then dropped into a dollhouse-like environment. You can extend and upgrade the home by earning Simoleans, and you must manage your Sim’s needs by feeding them, sending them to bed or the bathroom, and having them interact with other Sims.

So far so ordinary. But here’s where The Sims Social differs from its predecessors: those other Sims belong to your Facebook friends. You’re not actually interacting with your friends in real time, but you can view a video replay of what happened when their Sims came over to your Sim’s house. If their Sim is mean and wants to become an official enemy of yours — or is flirtatious enough to take the relationship to the next level — you have to approve it first.

Veteran players may be disappointed by a few features, or lack thereof. You can’t control a whole family of Sims and found a dynasty that will last for generations. Sadistic Sims fans will be saddened by the fact they can no longer kill off their creations. And then there’s the in-game advertising — The Sims Social has debuted with Dunkin’ Donuts products incorporated into gameplay, although my Sim hasn’t run into a single doughnut yet.

But overall, it’s a fun and friendly twist on The Sims franchise that seems sure to attract millions more new players — and knock Zynga off a pedestal where it has been sitting comfortably for far too long.

For more on The Sims Social click here and for updates click here

f8, Facebook Developer Conference is back.


 

 

 

After months of speculation, Facebook has finally announced the date of its annual developer conference, f8.

The fourth edition of the conference will take place Sept. 22 in San Francisco. “This all day event with Facebook engineers and product teams will feature keynotes and session tracks that highlight our new tools along with best practices for developers and partners building the next generation of social experiences,” the company said in its email invitation.

The all-day conference is where Facebook typically launches its biggest products and initiatives. It launched the Facebook Platform at its first f8 in 2007, unveiled Facebook Connect in 2008 and launched the Like button and the Facebook Open Graph in 2010.

What will Facebook announce at this year’s f8? Stay tuned for updates…

Twitter’s up with a New Feature.


Twitter has rolled out a subtle but significant interface enhancement to its web app, prompting users to publicly reply to a user when they visit that person’s profile page.

You can see how it works in the example I’ve created here using my own Twitter profile, where the field that was formerly empty now reads “Tweet to @ashrules24”.

Perhaps Twitter was hoping the small change would be implemented without fanfare, but keen-eyed user Jeevan Gill (@jsammy17) tweeted to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, asking him if this was a new feature. Replied Dorsey, “@jSammy17 as of today!

Even though Twitter just introduced its new Activity tab to its user interface yesterday, for some reason the company decided not to publicize this subtle tweak. Maybe the company didn’t want to get in the way of the social gaming war now underway between Google+ and Facebook.

Even so, any attempt to stimulate further social interaction on Twitter is probably a good idea, especially given the increased competition it’s facing from Google.