Written by IainB

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

image for Facebook crashes after bot attack
Will. You. Be. My. Friend?

Facebook, the ever so popular, and somewhat indispensable social network, crashed last night, and stayed down for over an hour due to a bot attack, but not the usual bot attack.

"Normally," said Facebook's security guru, Kerry Katona, "bot attacks can be dealt with before they ever affect us, as they are an external attack, millions of computers requesting data. We can deal with this. It's just like a Saturday at half seven. This was different. It was internal."

The new bot reads the public information of a page, and creates a new page using the name and face of the targeted individual. Their friends list is then targeted.

"Normally, this is just an annoyance, they're spotted very quickly and we shut them down," said Kerry Katona. "We can even do most of them automatically. Our users never even realise for ninety percent of identity clonings."

During the attack that brought Facebook to its knees, one bot cloned the identity of another bot account, all of the friends on the list were also bot accounts. They all happily accepted, and sent requests back to the calling bot.

"Pretty soon, there were millions of friend requests flying left right and centre," said Katona. "We only realised when the servers made an ominous creaking noise and then melted through the floor. Then Facebook went down."

Julian Hart, head of systems maintenance at Twitter also didn't like the bot attack. "We hate it when Facebook goes down," he said. "We just get a billion tweets saying 'Facebook's Down', sigh."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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