Facebook hacked: Are you seeing images of porn and violence?

Summary:Reports are coming in that Facebook has been hacked: users are seeing images depicting pornography, acts of violence, self-mutilation, and bestiality. Some are already blaming Anonymous.

Update: Facebook confirms images of porn and violence, is investigating

Facebook users are reportedly being flooded with very graphic images depicting pornography, acts of violence, self-mutilation, and bestiality. The NSFW problem supposedly started two or three days ago, but seems to be escalating dramatically. If you are affected by this, please see Facebook virus or account hacked? Here's how to fix it.

Some members of the social network are complaining about violent and/or pornographic pictures showing up in their News Feeds without their knowledge that they have allegedly Liked. Others are being told by their friends that they are sending requests to click on links to videos, sending out bogus chat messages, or writing mass messages and tagged photos leading people to believe they are in the link.

In other words, this is the type of spam we've seen on Facebook before, but it's coming in at a much faster pace, as if it was planned beforehand. It's currently unclear if users are required to click on something to start spreading the spam, or if this is an actual attack leveraging some kind of vulnerability in the service's code.

I personally have not seen any such Facebook activity on my own profile, and neither have my friends, but a quick search on Twitter for "facebook porn" shows many complaints from users of both social networks. Unsurprisingly, others are whining that they aren't seeing the questionable content at all.

Users are clearly outraged and as is typical with Facebook members, many are already threatening to close their accounts. Actress and director Courtney Zito told The Christian Post, which reported on this news first: "I have 5000 friends. My feed is littered with porn. I can't even check my news feed with anyone around because of it. Just saw one with a guy who had his skull bashed in and his brains on the street. Another one was the devil... Besides the countless naked girls. I'm about ready to deactivate..."

One of the scams mentioned in the article says something like "After watching this video I lost all respect for Kim" – a quick search on Google shows that this report is the first occurrence with this particular wording. The link supposedly doesn't lead anywhere but it purportedly "hacks the account sending the same spam to all of the user's friends."

It's not clear who is behind the attacks, but unsurprisingly, some are blaming the hacktivist group Anonymous. Three months ago, I wrote that Anonymous does not support killing Facebook. Earlier this month, I noted Anonymous did not take down the social network on November 5. Here was my conclusion from the latter piece:

To summarize, I would be very surprised if Facebook stopped functioning even for just a few minutes today. It never hurts, of course, to change your password and to pay attention to what you click on, both on the social network and the Internet as a whole.

Facebook is still up and running, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been exploited in some way. There is no proof that Anonymous is behind this flood of inappropriate images and links (normally such an attack would result in confirmation from Anonymous, in some shape or form), but it only takes a few members or ex-members to pull something like this off.

Either way, because many are finding it unusable now, the general belief seems to be that the social network has been hacked. I have contacted Facebook to find out more and will update this story if I hear back.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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