Feeds

Facebook bug dishes out notes designated private

Company reps keep the flaw secret

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Facebook users who type sensitive information into a site feature known as Notes may be interested in knowing that it is currently experiencing a bug that allows documents designated as private to be read anyway.

A Facebook customer service representative privately confirmed the bug to a user who complained that notes he configured to be private were anything but. That was on Friday. Four days later, the site has yet to issue any public notification of the flaw.

"We hope to resolve this note privacy settings bug that you described as soon as possible," a rep by the name of Pam wrote. "I would suggest that you contact us in several days if this problem has not been fixed."

This isn't the first time Facebook has failed to make good on promises to keep user information private. In June, a researcher disclosed a Facebook hole that publicly revealed a user's political views, religious back ground and other sensitive details even when a profile was configured so it was viewable only to designated friends.

Facebook added a blog-like feature called Notes in August 2006. Notes can be tagged with the names of other Facebook users so they automatically receive a copy. Facebook also provides a means that's supposed to keep them private.

"Does this mean you already knew about this problem but have continued to let people use notes without any warning?" the Facebook user wrote in response to Pam's email. "Is this solely related to notes or does this affect other parts of facebook/apps?"

Excellent questions. But unfortunately, Pam didn't answer. Several hours after this story was published, a Facebook spokeswoman emailed to say the problem was the result of the user setting up conflicting privacy settings.

"To clarify, this is not a bug," she wrote. "This user most likely set their Notes privacy settings to 'Only Me,' however, they include Notes on their Limited Profile. Therefore, the people on their Limited Profile list can see their notes." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.