Apparently it is possible to share too much on Facebook, even if your name is Mark Zuckerberg -- because it seems somebody inadvertently shared the details of how to gain administrative access to his Facebook fan page.
Otherwise, how does one explain the following status update, which appeared on facebook.com/markzuckerberg yesterday?
[ Cringley asks: Do you know who's tracking you on the Web? | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn't Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a 'social business' the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it? #hackercup2011
(TechCrunch managed to snap a screenshot of the fan page before Facebook took it down. I'd show it here, only the comments appended to the update are too potty-mouthed for the delicate sensibilities of Cringeville residents.)
It's a classic modern conundrum: Someone who's savvy enough to hack into Zuck's fan page, but too stupid to understand that it's the Nobel Prize, not Price.
Apparently this update was a big hit with the Zuckerati; some 1,803 Facebook users "liked" the post and another 438 commented on it before Facebook managed to wipe the page from existence. Unfortunately, aside from the potty mouths, we may never know how they felt about the notion of turning Facebook into a "social business," -- that is, "a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective," per Wikipedia.
Interestingly, Zuckerberg's personal Facebook page appears unscathed. That means either a) Zuck's fan page is maintained by some other user, b) the hacker gained access in a way other than brute forcing (or guessing) the password, or c) the hacker didn't have time to attack Zuck's page, or d) the hacker didn't care.
There's also e) the hacker thought he had hacked Zuck's main page. In any case, he or she seems unlikely to win any Nobel Prices.
Let's assume a guy who's running an (ahem) $50 billion company with 600 million users is possibly too busy to maintain his own Facebook fan page, and that those duties fall to some lackey. Thus, it's the lackey who got hacked, not Zuckerberg. I'm guessing the method of entry was something simple, like forcing a password reset and redirecting it to an account controlled by the hacker, or socially engineering the logon credentials from whoever had them.
Ironically, just this morning, Facebook blogger Alex Rice posted an entry titled "A Continued Commitment to Security" in which he describes the methods Facebook is implementing to verify identities and lock out hackers. How's that been working out for you guys so far, Alex?
Here's some more irony for you: At press time, Zuckerberg's most recent activity, according to his personal page, was leaving a comment on a Facebook product manager's status update that reads "I like dangerous thoughts."
Here's a dangerous thought: Facebook's security protections are gossamer thin, and no one's account is safe. If Facebook really wants to be the Web within the Web -- the virtual home for businesses, Web search, e-commerce, and so on -- it has to do a much better job of protecting its users.
How do you like those thoughts, Zucky boy? Dangerous enough for you?
If you were going to hack somebody's Facebook page, how would you go about it? Post your nefarious scheme below (just the highlights please, not the step by step) or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "Share this: Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page is hacked," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Track the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.