A Networking Perspective on Facebook

News Media Entertainment can be utilized to create some pretty strong backcurrents of support for things that can harm society in many, many ways. Case in point: Facebook.

Facebook is just another website. However, its internal mechanism is designed to expose the private information of billions of users. This marketing data is valuable to the corporate paymasters of the news media entertainment industry. They are, themselves, also a source of revenue to the news media entertainment industry - which is frantic to try to get some sort of 'single sign on' that lets them track and market even more effectively. It's not surprising that news media entertainment loves to report about this company - even though the majority of their supposed innovations are something you usually opt out of.

Facebook, like many other websites - is susceptible to attack. In a healthy and open network - attack is, more or less - a part of life. Sometime's it's intentional - as in the case of someone who wants to delete you (DDOS attack). Sometime's its not - as in the case of malfunctioning equipment that spams you with a packet storm (.1Q misconfigured backplane). But this is hardly newsworthy. Is your site susceptible to attacks? Yes. Do we need an urgent news article on it.. ? No.

It doesn't surprise me that CNN* reports that the hacker group anonymous has now targetted Facebook to crash it . The rationale for this story is not that the hacking group Anonymous are planning to bring down Facebook. Instead, the point is to run a story that says they're going to try . But when it doesn't go down, it stands as a kind of free advertisement for just how "secure" and "safe" you are on Facebook.

These are the kind of games that news media entertainment can play. They can run stories that seemingly inform, and have the public's best interest at stake - but that are so loosely researched and so closely tied to the interests of their major advertisers - that ultimately - the only point of view that survives is that of a corporation.

Anonymous isn't going to hit Facebook. They're going to hit fascist dictators and corrupt government websites. They just finished hacking the Syrian Government's website. They'll do the important targets first. Facebook is a small fish that , for some reason, everyone keeps hearing about. It's just another website. It's up to you to ignore Facebook. Trust me. It's an easy thing to do.

From a Networking standpoint, it's possible -but a longshot. Anonymous doesn't use their Distributed, Denial of Service attack unless it's really needed. It's much more elegant to hack into root. And to be honest, they're just not going to target or hit Facebook. It's just not happening. They've got better things to do.

It is, however, my opinion as a networking professional that it is completely absurd that CNN would say that Anonymous is a 'successor to Wikileaks'. That's like saying a German Shepherd is a successor to a Newspaper Editor.

* not synonymous with news media entertainment, but nevertheless caught up in the tangled web of the 24 hour news cycle.