Social network security worries grow as Facebook gets hacked

Private photos including those of Paris Hilton viewed as security flaws are found in the latest Facebook privacy update.

Facebook has been hacked, with a technician managing to exploit a recent security update and view private pictures of people such as Paris Hilton and Mark Zuckerberg.

After Facebook introduced new options and a new privacy interface on 19 March, Canadian technician Byron Ng managed to exploit security holes and access private details.

Normally it is not possible for users to view photos and details which the owner does not give permission for them to access. With his computer expertise, Ng managed to breach security barriers to do this until Facebook installed a bug fix to prevent it from happening.

"The recent Facebook breach highlights how the social networking world is still evolving and continues to harbour a host of potential threats to personal and sensitive information," said Mike Smart, EMEA product manager at security vendor Secure Computing.

"And it's not new - this exploit mirrored MySpace's breach in January. Users accessing social networking sites from work leave their organisation vulnerable to hackers."

Businesses have been worried about social networking sites ever since they exploded in popularity. As well as expected loss in productivity, IT PRO has also reported on the worries that businesses have about employees releasing confidential information.

"With most social networking sites offering the functionality to upload content, many organisations currently have insufficient safeguards in place to prevent potentially confidential or defamatory information being obtained."

Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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