Facebook glitch brings new privacy worries

Thursday - 5/6/2010, 8:30am EDT

Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Jane Norris (6-10 a.m.) and The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • On Wednesday, users discovered a glitch that gave them access to supposedly private information in the accounts of their Facebook friends, like chat conversations. The New York Times reports that Facebook has recently introduced changes that essentially forced users to choose between making information about their interests available to anyone or removing it altogether. Although Facebook quickly moved to close the security hole, the breach heightened concerns about the sites ability to protect personal information. Facebook began prompting users to link information in their profile pages, like their hobbies and hometowns, in a way that makes that information public. That change prompted the Electronic Privacy Information Center to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

  • A Voice of America website was reportedly the victim of a hacker "porn attack" yesterday. According to BloggerNews, an image of a naked woman in a suggestive pose was not removed from VOA's LiveJournal blog for several hours. The site is currently back to normal just in time for VOA's launch of a new feature on the site called "Digital Frontiers" - a blog dealing with digital censorship.

  • Virginia-based federal contractor SAIC signs an agreement to mint new cyber-savvy professionals. The partnership with New York University's Polytechnic Institute will provide masters degrees in cybersecurity to more than 600 of SAIC's top-performing workers. The program will include blended instruction of both online and in the classroom. The company says the move will better position SAIC to serve its government and commercial customers.

  • If an enemy nation starts dropping bombs on your country or sending troops onto your shores - you know it's war. But what if the "war" is being waged in cyberspace? It's something officials and computer security experts are trying to get a handle on as part of a conference taking place this week in Dallas. Some officials say there is a cyberwar going on now - because of all the hackers who are stealing online secrets and using the Internet to attack infrastructure such as power grids. But some security analysts say the term "cyberwarfare" is used so broadly that it may be hurting efforts to get countries to agree on how to cooperate on Internet security.