Facebook fights over 600,000 hackers a day

Facebook has revealed that it comes under attack by over 600,000 security attacks every day.

In a blog post announcing new security measures to be implemented in coming weeks, the social networking giant estimated that out of the billion plus daily user logins, six percent are fraudulent.

"600,000 times a day, we stop a bad guy from getting access to an account even though he has guessed, phished, or stolen the login and password of an account. This is something we're very proud of," said company spokesman, Barry Schnitt.

With users publishing every aspect of their lives on the site, there are rich pickings to be had for hackers with email addresses and telephone numbers being the most popular target for theft in addition to spreading viruses and selling counterfeit goods. But far from being organised professionals attempting the secuity breaches, it appears many of the culprits are teenagers hacking accounts to steal photos or spread malicious messages.

"When a Facebook login is compromised, it means that someone else, the hacker, has taken control of that account," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos. "When a hacker takes over a user's Facebook account, they can post images, send messages and access all of that person's private information."

Facebook hopes its new security measures which include 'Trusted Friends' and password changes for third party apps will help drive down the number of attacks: "We know there's plenty of more work to be done," said a spokesperson for Facebook. "We will keep striving to make sure that every time you log in to Facebook, you have a safe and social experience. We are adapting and responding to new threats everyday and will continue to bring the people that use our site new ways to protect themselves."

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