Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Hell in a hack attack: Christians targeted on Facebook - - 25 Aug 09

A malicious hacking attack on a Christian dating site has been used to break into Facebook accounts and post obscene and racist comments.

The online group called 4chan - which hacked former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin's email account and spread hoax news about a spate of celebrity deaths - is now targeting Christians on Facebook.

The hackers stole login details and passwords from an unnamed Christian dating site and used them to break into Facebook accounts.

In one instance, they superimposed a target's face on to a picture of a naked woman and published it on her Facebook page, pretending they had uploaded the wrong picture by mistake.

Posing as one devout Christian woman who had committed to no sex before marriage, they published a status update on her page thanking “Michael” for sex the night before.

To make it more believable, they then posted an update that it was actually intended to be a private message and had been published by mistake.

Status updates posted on other hacked Christians' Facebook profiles included racist hate messages and messages pretending that the poster had contemplated suicide or had accidentally killed a homeless person.

The hackers also caused trouble between the users and their friends, writing on one user's photo that their baby was “ugly” and on another woman's photo that her teeth matched her skin.

One user posted a note asking people to pray for a sick relative, and the 4chan hackers, posing as one of their friends, wrote: “If he dies can I have some of his stuff?”

It's not clear exactly how many users' accounts were compromised. However, a blog called The Coffee Desk has published screenshots showing some of the hackers' handywork.

The screenshots were published on the 4chan message board by the triumphant hackers.

It is believed that the hackers were able to break into the Facebook accounts because some users had the same password they used on the Christian website.

In other instances, the stolen login details allowed the hackers to access the targets' email accounts and obtain passwords for a host of their online accounts from there, including PayPal and Amazon.

In July, just after the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, 4chan members were also responsible for widespread rumours that other celebrities including Jeff Goldblum, Britney Spears, Harrison Ford, Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus and P. Diddy had also died.

The rumours were so convincing that some news sites picked up the stories as genuine news. On of those who were duped was Richard Wilkins on Nine's Today show, who reported that Goldblum had fallen off a cliff in New Zealand.

In October last year, Apple's share price tanked after 4chan users spread a false report claiming chief executive office Steve Jobs had suffered a major heart attack.

The 4chan community was also responsible for hacking into Palin's email account and publishing private messages on the web.

The site and its members are rarely held responsible for their actions because there is no search feature on the 4chan websites, and pages expire after a certain period of time.

Most of the comments are too graphic or obscene to republish here.

BY Asher Moses

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