An anonymous hacker left Facebook and Mark Zuckerburg red faced after he gained access to the entrepreneurs Facebook profile, but rather than going on a rampage, the hacker took the opportunity to pitch an idea of letting Facebook users invest in the company, rather than the banks.
The message read: "Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn't Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a 'social business' the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011".
The page belonging to the 26-year-old Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder who was named Time's Man of the Year in 2010, was hacked some time on Tuesday.
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It is not clear how the break-in occurred, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at the security company Sophos. "Mark Zuckerberg might be wanting to take a close look at his privacy and security settings after this embarrassing breach," he noted. "It's not clear if he was careless with his password, was phished, or sat down in a Starbucks and got sidejacked [had his login details stolen over the air] while using an unencrypted wireless network. But however it happened, it's left egg on his face just when Facebook wants to reassure users that it takes security and privacy seriously. Maybe Mr Zuckerberg would be wise to get a refresher on computer security best practice." Facebook made no comment on how the breach took place, although the risk increases due to the fact that the profile is handled by a number of people within the company, and it's possible details from any one of those people were breached.
It's thought that a $500 million investment made by Goldman Sachs earlier this year has placed the value of the popular site at almost $50 billion and will allow the Wall Street firm to assist Facebook when the time comes for the site to become listed publicly. This is likely what the hacker was referring to when he mentioned "the banks." Perhaps the most ironic of it all is the mention of Facebook's Hacker Cup - described as "an annual worldwide programming competition where hackers compete against each other for fame, fortune, glory and a shot at the coveted Hacker Cup" - which may have unintentionally left them open to the challenge of a high level breach due to the fact they will be hosting the final round at Facebook headquarters on March 11.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy was also hacked just days ago and a message was left suggesting that he was resigning. However, after regaining control of the account, he made it known that he would run for President in the next election.
Image credit: Sophos