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Last updated: January 15, 2013
First published: January 15, 2013
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer
This breathless "hacker warning" has recently joined the hundreds of other pointless, misleading and inaccurate "security alert" messages that circulate continually on Facebook. This version warns users that a dastardly hacker that goes by the name of "Destiny Valle" is systematically - and seemingly at will - taking control of Facebook Pages and locking out their rightful owners. According to the message, the hacker has been taking over multiple pages by deleting existing admins and removing information so that it appears that she is the legitimate Page owner. The message implores people to share the information in order to stop the hacker from taking over even more pages.
However, the message makes no effort to explain how the hacker is gaining access to the Facebook Pages, nor does it supply even a shred of evidence to support the claim that such a "hacking" campaign is actually taking place. The message implies that this "Destiny Valle" can somehow gain access to a Page's administration functions whenever she feels like it.
This is, of course, errant nonsense. If a Page owner followed a link to a phishing site and was tricked into handing over Facebook account login details, then a hijacker could use those details to access the Page. Or, if the Page owner clicked a link and subsequently downloaded and installed an information-stealing trojan, then the criminal may again be able to procure the Facebook login details and wreak havoc on the Page. And, of course, it is possible that some Page owners might be foolish enough to actually elevate "Destiny Valle" to admin status on request, thereby allowing her to have her way with the Page. But, even the most skilled hacker cannot simply hijack control of a page from its rightful owner at random whenever she feels the urge to do so. If account hijacking was that easy, Facebook and other such services would have been long since overrun by criminals and would be virtually unusable.
Another concerning aspect of this fatally flawed "warning" is that it actually names the supposed hacker. There are several people with the name Destiny Valle who have profiles on Facebook and others searches reveal that there are many people in the world that share that name or very similar names. But, the message makes no effort whatsoever to identify which particular "Destiny Valle " it might be referring to. Nor does it provide any evidnce whatsoever to support its accusations. Thus, many people that share the name may be unfairly impacted by this unsubstantiated rumour, especially if they happen to be Facebook users. Unfortunately, Facebook is becoming a perfect vehicle for such destructive nonsense.
This warning is reminiscent of another pointless Facebook message that warned that a person claiming to be from the boy-band One Direction was wresting control of Facebook Pages from their rightful owners.
Of course Facebook Page owners - and Facebook users in general - need to be careful and sensible with their login information and do their best to maintain the security of their accounts. Page owners should also be cautious when promoting people to admin status. They should ensure that they are well-acquainted with the potential admin and his or her conduct before allowing Page admin privileges. But, passing on misleading, wide-eyed nonsense like the information contained in this bogus warning will not help Page owners maintain the integrity of their accounts in any way whatsoever.
most skilled hacker cannot
claiming to be from the boy-band One Direction