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The slow, dumb rise of Facebook "Hackers" | Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Original article.

According to Trend Micro, an internet security firm, more than 40% of teens are "social hackers".

Sigh. I remember a day when being a hacker meant that you had to actually know how to do something.

The "social hackers" are still split by gender though. Boys are twice as likely to go for the profile assassination, while girls are three times more likely to go straight for the PayPal.

What can I say - boys want power, girls love the bling. It's the nature of things.

The "new" idea of "social hacking" is that many social details are on view via social networking sites such as Facebook. A competent social hacker can find information which tends to give away security question answers.

And an incompetent target will use public information in their own security questions and password. And deserve everything they've got coming.

Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro said, "It's the online version of kids breaking into school to change their reports, it's just so much easier now."

Breaking into school to change your report card took planning, skill and cojones.

Anything that can be done from behind the safety of a computer screen requires nothing more than an Internet connection, a decent mix of self-loathing and lack of self confidence, and maybe some Red Bull. Sure, maybe a "social hacker" (*cough* *hack* *cough*) can find out where you live and hang out by hacking into your Facebook profile, but then what? Years of sitting on a couch with his laptop drinking latte mochaccinos will have left his body too weak and atrophied to pose any real threat.

I, on the under hand, can find out where you live, chase you down because I can run faster than you, and then dead-lift you off a bridge.

See kids? It's about branching out.

Oh, and it's called social engineering, and it's not new at all.