18 Aug 2011

British man allegedly hacked Facebook

Glenn Mangham, a 25-year-old British citizen from York, was recently charged with violating the U.K.'s Computer Misuse Act of 1990 by hacking the social media website Facebook last April and May.

A Scotland Yard official told the Daily Telegraph this is the most extensive example of social media hacking to be brought before British courts. Mangham faces five charges related to his alleged creation of a program to illegally access Facebook servers. He has not yet entered a plea.

A Facebook spokesperson said no user data was compromised by Mangham's internet security exploits.

Mangham's hacks targeted a "puzzle server" Facebook uses to test programmers' skill levels, a "mailman server" used to distribute internal and external emails, and a "phabricator server" used by Facebook application developers, eWeek Europe reports.

The prosecutor in the case said the intrusions required "considerable technical expertise."

Facebook recently began paying independent researchers who discover and report vulnerabilities affecting the site.

Hackers who claimed to be members of the group Anonymous recently threatened to "destroy" Facebook via a November 5 cyber attack. However, computer security experts have questioned the legitimacy of this threat, and posts on Anonymous' blog said the group as a whole is not planning a Facebook attack, though some of its members might be.