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Report: 600,000 Facebook log-ins compromised per day

Consumer Reports News: October 28, 2011 12:23 PM

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According to Facebook, members log in to the social media site billions of times a day. And "only 0.06 percent" of those log-ins are compromised—connections made by hackers armed with stolen member account information. But don't let that seemingly low rate of hacked accounts fool you into thinking Facebook is super secure, says an online security analyst.

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson points out that the log-in information for these "compromised accounts" aren't necessarily stolen from Facebook's servers, but might be obtained from phishing or other e-mail scams. "'Compromised' in this sense refers to logins where we are not absolutely confident that the account's true owner is accessing the account and we either preemptively or retroactively block access," the spokesperson e-mailed to Consumer Reports.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with security software maker Sophos, took a closer look at the numbers reported by Facebook in a blog post touting its new online features such as Trusted Friends.

By Cluley's calculations, 0.06 percent of a billion log-ins results in 600,000 compromised Facebook sign-ons per day. Or, more telling: One hacked Facebook account is being logged in attempting to connect to the social media website every 140 milliseconds.

That's literally faster than the blink of an eye, which takes only 150 milliseconds.

Consumer Reports online security experts have previously warned about various Facebook security dangers. And while Facebook seemingly rolls out new security and privacy options every few weeks, lawmakers and privacy advocates have been pressing for a Federal Trade Commission probe into the social media site.

Check out Consumer Reports Guide to online security for safe Web surfing tips, including the 7 things to stop doing now on Facebook.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Updates [Official Facebook Security post]
Facebook Security infographic [Scribd]
600,000+ compromised account logins every day on Facebook, official figures reveal [Naked Security blog]

Paul Eng

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