Facebook has met with many allegations of abusing the privacy of its users and giving access to users’ data. This also includes the widespread use of the ‘like’ button on third party websites which can essentially track users’ information leading to its questionable cyber-security.
Engin Kirda, professor for Information Assurance at Northeastern University discusses the motives of Anonymous group which announced on YouTube that it plans to kill Facebook. Usually, hackers can locate a vulnerability which they can further exploit. The other way is by launching a Denial-of-service (DDoS) attack which means creating a lot of traffic on the website that needs to be hacked. This is done by sending many web requests which can disrupt the site’s functioning and hence fail. It can be very dangerous and can pose a serious threat to servers.
When asked about other precautions that websites like Facebook need to take in order to ensure user safety, Kirda says that monitoring systems and protecting it from vulnerabilities are extremely important. Though Facebook deals with security problems seriously, there is not much that they can do if there is a DDoS attack. The only solution lies in increasing its computing resources, which should outnumber the number of attackers.
Analysing the position of cyber-security in today’s world, one observes that one needs to take measures to protect the information they voluntarily add on social sites like Facebook and Instagram. Any error, malfunction in software, can lead to disturbance and embarrassment in the lives of ordinary people. If cyber- securities are not taken seriously, the consequence can be a malicious attempt to disturb the normal traffic of the server, which was what Facebook experienced.
Further, Kirda says that hacking is not just exploiting a server to gain complete access over it by stealing, changing or destroying its information but it also involves a major motive of making it happen for a strong purpose. Most hackers intend to make strong political and social statements by doing what they do.