Feeds

Facebook phone app attempts to seize ALL YOUR MAIL

Gonna slurp you good... bitch

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
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
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
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
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.