Facebook tests your friendships

Facebook users may be shown pictures of their friends and asked to name them as a way of proving they are the true account holders

The social network Facebook may be about to test your friendships with a new security measure that asks users to identify specific pictures of their so called friends to show security analysts they are the true account holders.

The announcement, however, has concerned many who have pushed the boundaries of friendship to the limit by accumulating hundreds and thousands of online acquaintances, some of whom they have never even met.

The authentication move comes after Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg’s own public fan page was hacked earlier this week.

In a blog post, Facebook said the ‘social authentication’ was an alternative to the ‘captcha’ system whereby users must type in letters to show they are human and not a computer hacker.

The post claims; ‘Hackers halfway across the world might know your password but they don’t know who your friends are.’ But problems will arise when people are asked to confirm contacts they do not know well.

Graham Cluley, of Internet security company Sophos, says: ‘The stumbling block is going to be thatlots of people don’t know their ‘friends’ well.’

The pipeline idea will ask Facebook users to identify pictures of friends who they are likely to have a closer connection with, or are in regular contact with. The pilot scheme will allow users to skip up to two pictures.

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