Feeds

FaceTime exposes prospect contact info

Red faces over coding snafu at IM security firm

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

IM security firm FaceTime has explained how programming errors led to the exposure of contact information for potential customers on its website.

A script in the firm's white paper request page submitted the contact information of interested parties to a .csv file on FaceTime's site.

Worse still, comments within the script of the web page gave away the location of at least three of these unencrypted files, revealing the contact information of several hundred people - including company names, contact names, email addresses, phone numbers, state, country, and other basic info (such as number of employees, IM networks).

Credit cards details or security card numbers were not requested on the request page and not involved in the breach.

Acting on an anonymous reader tip about the breach, El Reg contacted FaceTime. The firm acted promptly to close access to the files and reset security settings on the site. The firm is in the process of notifying the people whose names were on the list, via emails sent out on Tuesday.

Inadvertent changes in these security settings due to the application of patches are the likely cause of the breach, FaceTime reckons. In a statement, FaceTime's vice president of product management and marketing Frank Cabri explained: "The contact information for several hundred people who have requested access to our white papers was accessible via our website to those who viewed the source for the web page and inferred specific paths to .csv files in which this contact information was stored.

"We are still researching the cause of this issue. So far, we have found that our standard security settings for blocking the opening of the csv-file using the full path URL had been disabled. We checked the event logs and we don't see anything that shows how this might have been changed. We believe that when applying a security patch, security update or server update, some of the directory-level security settings may have reverted back to the defaults."

Comments in the script of one page on FaceTime's white paper request microsite pointed to the path name to the other .csv files. FaceTime blames this on a "coding oversight".

"However, had the security settings been working properly - which they do now - a user would not have been able to open the .csv file in their browser even after figuring out the path. We removed the commented code so that it cannot be viewed anymore. We searched the complete site for any other occurrences and did not find any," Cabri explained.

FaceTime is taking steps to prevent similar customer contact detail leaks in future. For example, implementing a blocking rule so that any requests to access the directory containing the .csv files involved in the breach will be denied, as well as implementing additional (undisclosed) security measures. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.