Facebook’s own public filings report that one of the company’s greatest risk factors for investors is network security:
Computer malware, viruses, and computer hacking and phishing attacks have become more prevalent in our industry, have occurred on our systems in the past, and may occur on our systems in the future.
Hackers cannot reveal their actual names to the public, but among them they must have some system of trophy and ribbon awards. The hacker’s victories are based on the premise that the world’s best and most well-developed security software can be breached by the some of the best minds in the secret coder world. One of the most widely reported targets is the source code of Symantec’s own security protection software — Norton. A major protector could not protect itself.
Facebook already has been pressured by hackers. Famous hacker alliance Anonymous has hinted that Facebook is among its targets. It is safe to assume that Facebook’s highly secret defense systems have been under a multitude of attacks for years. Facebook’s biggest security problem is that it operates in a world where expert hackers never tire. And most of the participants in attacks will never be found. For them, the action of taking down large networks has almost no risk.
Imagine the chaos if tens of millions of Facebook passwords are made public. That, or something very like it, is just around the corner.
Douglas A. McIntyre