On Friday afternoon, Facebook announced that hackers had their way with some employee laptops. It said none of its users’ data was compromised, and that the attack occurred after some employees visited a website that infected their machines with malware.
The writer said that “It was not immediately clear why Facebook waited until now to announce the incident.” Why, oh why, would a company wait until Friday afternoon to release negative news? You may also wonder why the government waits until Friday afternoon to release economic news. So people can spend the weekend absorbing the information over the weekend free from the distractions of work, of course.
Facebook described these risks in its latest Form 10-K:
Computer malware, viruses, hacking and phishing attacks, and spamming could harm our business and results of operations.
Computer malware, viruses, and computer hacking and phishing attacks have become more prevalent in our industry, have occurred on our systems in the past, and may occur on our systems in the future. Because of our prominence, we believe that we are a particularly attractive target for such attacks. Though it is difficult to determine what, if any, harm may directly result from any specific interruption or attack, any failure to maintain performance, reliability, security, and availability of our products and technical infrastructure. Any such failure may harm our reputation and our ability to retain existing users and attract new users.
In addition, spammers attempt to use our products to send targeted and untargeted spam messages to users, which may embarrass or annoy users and make Facebook less user-friendly. We cannot be certain that the technologies and employees that we have to attempt to defeat spamming attacks will be able to eliminate all spam messages from being sent on our platform. As a result of spamming activities, our users may use Facebook less or stop using our products altogether.
The SEC has been focusing on disclosure of cybersecurity risks. Here is the release, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds.