Hijackers Take Over Hundreds of Facebook Groups

Yesterday morning, nearly 300 groups were hijacked and renamed by Control Your Info. Those responsible say they are trying to highlight how easy it is for people to lose track of part of their online presence. The social network maintains no actual hacking took place and says the group did not get any confidential information.

CYI's website details the groups actions:

"We discovered that many groups on Facebook are left without an administrator … So we simply joined 289 open groups and made ourselves administrators. We did not hack anything. Once we were administrators we owned the groups and could have changed any setting. We chose to change the picture, the name and the description of every group. Our intention was and is to restore these groups to their original form and find a suitable admin among the members. To be able to do this, we first backed up all the data we wanted to replace."

Administrators have the power to change the name of the group to whatever they like, edit information on the group, send messages to members and moderate discussions. Control Your Info proved this by pasting a message onto the wall of every group it assumed control of.

"Hello, we hereby announce that we have officially hijacked your Facebook group. This means we control a certain part of the information about you on Facebook. If we wanted we could make you appear in a bad way which could damage your image severly. For example we could rename your group and call it something very inappropriate and nasty, like 'I support paedophile's rights'. But have no fear — we won't."

Facebook confirmed to ComputerWorld that, once a group administrator leaves, any one of the members is free to assume the position of admin but said that no confidential information is accessible to group admins.

*image via CNET

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.