FACEBOOK HAS announced that it believes that the recent hack on its platform, which exposed the data of 30 million accounts, was the work of spammers, rather than state hackers.
The findings, reports the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), suggest that the people that broke into Facebook's systems weren't linked to any kind of 'nation-state' trying to take down the social network, but rather some spammers wanting to beat the system and create some misleading advertising instances.
According to 'people close to the matter', researchers from inside Facebook suggest that the perps who used the exploit to swipe a load of Pet-Maiden-Name type info are known Instagram and Facebook spam-fritterers, who call themselves a 'digital marketing company'.
Which is a little bit like the INQUIRER calling itself The Complete Works of Philip K Dick.
Facebook is yet to come up with a theory, officially, as to what the heckingthumpety happened. All it has said up to now is that something or things were exploiting the 'post as' option for pages to gain access to the admins of said pages.
Just as search engine optimisation has become an essential tool in legit web pages, so too it works with spamvertising. By gaining access to accounts, advertisers can manipulate the way their ads are seen - who by, how often etc and the yield from this manipulative analytics can prove phenomenal.
There is the magic word, though - ‘tentatively' - this being the extent to which Facebook is willing to stick its neck out given that the FBI has already told them to wind it in - to whit: "The FBI is actively investigating and have asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack."
Some had speculated that this was a manifestation of another campaign to interfere with US Elections, with the mid terms less than three weeks away. It does, however, appear that it's the other kind of crooks. μ
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