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Facebook groups prone to new sabotage trend

TT/Christine Demsteader · 15 Jan 2010, 07:56

Published: 15 Jan 2010 07:56 GMT+01:00

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Two female Facebook users were left in shock after joining a group which allowed them to see who had visited their profile.

Without warning the group’s title was change to, ”Those of us who have sexual fantasies about our kids.”

Photos of their children from their own pages were also uploaded to the group’s picture gallery complete with vulgar comments.

Swedish police say this new wave of hacking is on the increase.

”It’s a big game on the internet at the moment,” said Anders Ahlqvist from the National Police Board’s (Rikspolisstyrelsen) IT-crime department to newspaper Aftonbladet.

Names of established groups are being changed to new titles, predominantly of a sexual nature. In addition, new groups are being set up to trick users by later reinventing themselves.

In December, it was reported that a group had emerged to encourage organisations to donate three kronor to heart and lung research.

When the group reached over 80,000 members, the title was changed along with the charitable effort, suggesting members supported the abolition of a woman’s right to vote.

”The aim is to provoke,” the group’s 20-year-old male creator told news agency TT.

”We want to show that you shouldn’t put so much trust in the groups you join.”

Story continues below…

Further examples cited include a group originally called, ”Girls against guys – first to 100,000 users” which suddenly became, ”Those of us who have sex with our parents.”

According to Anders Ahlqvist it is not a crime to change the name of a group but to manipulate private pictures can be an offence.

Facebook’s representative in Sweden told Aftonbladet that users who have been affected should report the incidents via the website tool.

TT/Christine Demsteader (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:18 January 15, 2010 by homestead
"The aim is to provoke," the group's 20-year-old male creator told news agency TT.

"We want to show that you shouldn't put so much trust in the groups you join."

What an arrogant little punk. How egotistical do you have to be to think that, as a 20-year-old, you're going to go around teaching anyone else about anything, let alone doing it by potentially damaging someone's reputation? This kid's self-esteem needs to be knocked down a few notches.
12:16 January 15, 2010 by Craptastical
I honestly don't think the guy is arrogant for doing it, it demonstrates a flaw in Facebook's group design for the world to see. If anyone is arrogant it's you for thinking someone so young couldn't possibly teach you something (you missing out if you think young people can't be brighter than you). Before you try to say anything, I'm much older than this person.

This is no different than someone finding a flaw in software and releasing a benign example of how to exploit it to the world. It's not increasing the risk to the user unless the creator of the software withholds an update which addresses the problem.

This goes a step further too. It teaches the user to pay attention and be more careful before joining a Facebook group. It's no different than hearing that a friend's computer was effected by a virus/trojan/malware... Not only does the person who is effected by it take action to protect him/herself in the future, but usually those they know the person and about the situation do the same in order not to have a repeat of past experiences.

Now if I were in one of these groups... I'll most likely laugh about it. While it is childish, it's nothing more than a harmless prank on a mass scale.

This does no damage to one's reputation, just remove yourself from the group if it happens. Simple.
12:48 January 15, 2010 by homestead

If he's just trying to raise awareness, why doesn't he change the name to something more benign like "People who don't think there's enough ABBA on Swedish radio" or something like that. That would raise the same level of awareness without the "vulgar sexual connotations"?

And I think a more appropriate analogy would be if someone were to send an email with a virus attached to their friend to show them how dangerous viruses could be. Of course, changing a facebook name isn't damaging like a virus but there's also difference between telling people about a problem and making people experience the problem.

I guess I could have written my previous comment differently but I really don't have a problem learning something from 20-year-olds in, general. However, I do have a problem with the ones who have the "I need to teach all you people something" attitude.
13:00 January 15, 2010 by Craptastical
I agree about the benign titles, it would have demonstrated the same thing (actually, I don't think that the title changes were vulgar when they first started happening long before this article).

Your analogy is exactly the same thing as what I said. If you send a virus to a friend and your friend becomes infected then they're learning from experience and not from you telling them. The only difference is that your friend did it. This isn't usually what happens in the real world though. What I was describing is typical human behavior for typical situations.
15:41 January 15, 2010 by dstergiou

Someone changed the title of the group i joined in facebook. Now my wife will leave me , i will become unemployed, my stocks will fail and the sun will explode!

Seriously, people need to learn that joining every single group they are invited to and "installing" every stupid application sent to them is problematic. There are a lot of ways to teach people that, and that young dude just picked one

And this:

>> Swedish police say this new wave of hacking is on the increase.

How much of an epic fail is this? either someone does not understand the concept of "hacking" or ?

Bottom line: No entity out there will protect your privacy, if you don't protect it yourself. Stop sharing your life with everyone, upload only "public" information and don't whine when someone points to the elephant in the room when you know it is already there!
22:16 January 15, 2010 by moaca

you are absolutely right. I also like to use facebook but I NEVER EVER join any of these groups as I really do not see the point of them. My main reason for facebook is to share a little bit of my life with close friends and family. This due to the fact that I live in the UK and my family in Sweden. So for that purpose the medium is quite good. I am very picky at who I chose to be my friends, and they are all people I actually know!

not a friend of a friend etc. My circle of friends is therefore limited to about 20. I do not have 300 friends on there. And what I choose to share is not information that can damage me in any way.

It seems that nowadays to many people are socialising over the net. I embrace the internet but only up to a certain extent. Like reading this newspaper online. And give my opinion sometimes. But I am concerned about people spending hours and hours online instead of doing something useful with their time. We seem to be losing our sense of community, and are joining these virtual communities instead. Very disturbing.
05:08 January 16, 2010 by suckfist
Facebook is retarded. Go outside, people!
08:11 January 16, 2010 by julius41
FB has become like a cult, basically FB should be used to interact with friends and relatives and if you happen to go deep into it by subcribing for groups, you are prone to be hacked and provoked. I feel it induces breach of trust and privecy. these are work of people who are addicted to networking and nothing concreate to do.
10:24 January 16, 2010 by Donut
I think its funny.
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