Chris Putnam – The man who hacked his way into Facebook

Does the name Chris Putnam ring a bell in your head? No? Let me give you a hint. Why don’t you check the list of Facebook emoticons? U will find a strange emoticon of a Human face.

That’s actually him! Well wondering what’s his connection with Facebook? Then read on!



Around 2005, he and his friends Marcel Laverdet and Kyle Stoneman worked on a series of hacks and pranks on Facebook. It was a worm that spread through Facebook profiles. It caused profiles to look like MySpace.  As Facebook began fixing the worm, he got a message from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. It was along the lines and I quote Chris, “Hey, this was funny but it looks like you are deleting contact information from users’ profiles when you go to replicate the worm again. That’s not so cool.” They went on to exchange messages where Chris explained the worm.

He was at that time going to Georgia Southern University and was pretty bored of it. In January 2006, he told Dustin about his plans to get out of college and move to Silicon Valley. Dustin immediately offered him an interview at Facebook. He was a bit apprehensive about this because an extremely similar event had happened in MySpace – Samy Kamkar created a XSS worm in October 2005 which propagated across MySpace. MySpace offered him a job but got him arrested later. With this in mind, he saved up cash and even took his friend to California if at all things went wrong! But nothing as such happened until he was outside Facebook’s office in Palo Alto. He got into the elevator, went to 2nd floor where he was to meet Dustin. To his relief, Dustin opened the doors and not cops! His interview went on well and was hired right away. Had he not attacked the company with a worm, he probably wouldn’t have got this job. Crazy story isn’t it!