Facebook flaw allowed websites to steal users’ personal data without consent

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

A couple of weeks ago two students conducting security research contacted me about a vulnerability which they believed they had found with Facebook.

Rui Wang and Zhou Li said that they had found a vulnerability which allowed malicious websites to access a Facebook user’s private data without permission. According to Rui and Zhou, it was possible for any website to impersonate other sites which had been authorised to access users’ data such as name, gender and date of birth.

Furthermore, the researchers found a way to publish content on the visiting users’ Facebook walls (under the guise of legitimate websites) – a potential way to spread malware and phishing attacks.

Here’s a YouTube video by Rui and Zhou where the vulnerability is demonstrated. (Note: there’s no sound on the video.)

When I first…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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