Feeds

Facebook security glitch exposes user in-boxes

Cache glitch chaos forces users to work

The essential guide to IT transformation

Updated Office workers logging into Facebook on Tuesday morning were shocked to discover they were being served up other user's private pages.

Information going astray included other user's message inboxes. Fortunately more sensitive information - such as users' contact details - remained off limits to all but a member's friends.

The security glitch reared its head early on Tuesday, since when the site has been intermittently unavailable, at least in the UK. Access to the site from Spain, at least, has been fine since lunchtime.

The experience of Reg reader Wes seems typical.

"This morning I took part in my daily ritual of a cup of coffee and a quick look at my Face book account. However, when I logged in and click around, I was presented with other user's private pages, most notably other user's message inboxes. Further clicking around has exposed other areas of random people's accounts to me, but fortunately for them, so far all important information is still off limits," Wes reports.

Wes said the rest of his office are having similar difficulties accessing the service. Other Reg readers have written in reporting similar problems, some sending screen shots to illustrate their concerns.

In a statement, Facebook said the problem was due to a programming glitch - not the actions of external hackers - and has now been resolved, after the firm temporarily suspended services to apply an update. It apologised for any inconvenience.

"This morning, we temporarily took down the Facebook site to fix a bug we identified earlier today. This was not the result of a security breach. Specifically, the bug caused some third party proxy servers to cache otherwise inaccessible content. The result was that an isolated group of users could see some pages that were not intended for them. The site has now been restored, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused," it said. ®

Bootnote

We can perhaps console ourselves with the observation that because Facebook was down for everyone for a short time on Tuesday - and unavailable for some for a much longer period - office workers were obliged to get on with their work, instead of posting photos and exchanging banter with their mates. Parts of the economy should be braced for unexpected end of month jump in productivity, perhaps.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?