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Friday, May 13, 2011

Quick Hit: Facebook Leaves Gaping Holes In Security, But It’s All Good Now


By: Kareem Ali 

Symantec, the internet security firm and anti-virus software makers, recently made Facebook  aware that it had left a pretty nasty security hole in it systems.

The hole was found in April and takes advantage of the security features (or lack of) in Facebook’s app development code. According to reports, the code gives developers an alternate access key that allows them to view users walls, friends profiles and pretty much any information they have on Facebook.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that, in some cases apps were sharing the coded key information that allowed them that total access with third party (fourth party?) analytics and advertising companies, without having any clue they were even doing so. Which in theory means that lots and lots of companies could have gotten access to your account info and poured through all the data in order to more successfully sell you crap. According to Facebook however there has been no evidence of any ‘suspicious’ activity taking place.

Symantec is saying that once Facebook was notified they took steps to fix it. Facebook refused to give any more than a vague description and an assurance that everything is A-OK now.

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