Feeds

Facebook bug sin-bins female users

Spam abuse system pops a gasket

Website security in corporate America

Facebook users found themselves challenged to prove their identity on Tuesday as the social network's system for detecting fake accounts went awry.

The bug meant a significant number of (seemingly all female) Facebook users were locked out of their accounts. Many lockouts were told that they were using an "inauthentic" name, and asked to upload a image from a government-issued ID card in order to re-open their account.

Understandably many long-term users were somewhat nonplussed by this turn of events, with several venting their frustrations on Twitter. Affected users had done nothing to breach the dominant social networks terms and conditions.

Facebook has apologised for the snafu, blaming an unspecified bug in a system normally designed to web out fraudulent accounts set up by spammers and other miscreants, CNN reports.

Earlier today, we discovered a bug in a system designed to detect and disable likely fake accounts. The bug, which was live for a short period of time, caused a very small percentage of Facebook accounts to be mistakenly disabled. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately worked to resolve it. It's now been fixed, and we're in the process of reactivating and notifying the people who were affected.

Net security firm Sophos notes that the glitch made the search term "Facebook account disabled" a hot trending topic on Google. This indicates that even though it is unclear how many people were affected by the glitch, the problems were far from isolated. Facebook is in the process of notifying affected users and restoring accounts. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.