Facebook rejects 10,000 accounts hacked


Facebook has rebuffed reports that more than 10,000 account logins were stolen by a new hacktivist group.

A post from a group calling themselves Team Swastika appeared on Pastebin briefly, claiming to contain thousands of pilfered Facebook usernames and passwords.

The Pastebin post has now been removed, but Trend Micro's director for security research Rik Ferguson managed to spot and store the details today.

However, Facebook looked into the issue and said the details did not relate to any active accounts.

"This does not represent a hack of Facebook or anyone's Facebook profiles," a Facebook spokesperson said.

"Our security experts have reviewed this data and found it to be a set of e-mail and password combinations that are not associated with any live Facebook accounts."

Facebook said Trend Micro's use of the term "hacked" was "simply wrong." Ferguson never indicated Facebook itself had been hacked, however, and the social network said the data had been taken in a phishing attack.

Little is known about Team Swastika, which has also published details from the websites of the Indian Embassy in Nepal and the Government of Bhutan.

The group announced its arrival on the hacking scene just a week ago, with one tweet indicating it would be part of the growing hacktivism scene.

"Fight For Justice | Justice To Freedom Never Give up | Never Back down," the Twitter message read.

IT Pro spoke to Ferguson before Facebook's comments, saying Team Swastika would not want to lose any credibility at such an early stage of its development, which it could do by making false claims.

"Certainly it would go against their credibility because somebody out there will test it," Ferguson said. "Credibility is going to be very important to them."

Ferguson has attempted to contact Team Swastika about the alleged hack.

They seem to be Nepalese hackers targeting the Indian embassy in Nepal and the Government of Bhutan.

The who?

As for the hacking group's provenance, the only leads come from its name and previous targets.

"Don't forget the swastika is an Indian symbol originally, it wasn't a Nazi thing originally," Ferguson added.

"They seem to be Nepalese hackers targeting the Indian embassy in Nepal and the Government of Bhutan."

Previous Team Swastika compromises appeared to have been carried out with a SQL attack.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.