Feeds

Facebook phone app attempts to seize ALL YOUR MAIL

Gonna slurp you good... bitch

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Facebook has found an innovative way to encourage use of its email service: reach into users' mobile phone address books and change the email addresses stored against each contact to their Facebook email account.

It has emerged that Facebook's war on competing services now extends beyond the manipulated Timeline and into punters' pockets. The social network's mobile app appears to be altering address book entries to direct messages to Facebook mail accounts. A user composing an email on his or her phone will send the missive to a Facebook inbox the recipient has probably never looked at, and as the original email address is overwritten there's no alternative.

According to reports, address books on iOS and Android devices are being updated by the Facebook app whenever there's an entry in the address book linked to a Facebook account. In some cases it seems the @facebook.com address is being appended to the contact details, but other users are reporting that it's being overwritten too.

Some punters, such as Sam Bibble, found new and separate entries for each of his Facebook contacts, leading to duplication - but at least he didn't lose the original email addresses.

There are also reports of email messages disappearing entirely - but Facebook tells us that such messages have probably ended up filed in the "Other" category which becomes available when one clicks on "Messages" at the left of one's Facebook home. That doesn't alter the fact that data on users' handsets (their friends' preferred email addresses) has been deleted without warning.

Facebook tells us its engineers are looking into it, and they'll let us have more details when they come in. We've had no reports of UK users suffering the same plight, but it might be wise to remove the Facebook app for a while anyway, just until the situation becomes clear. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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.