Feeds

Facebook: Our phone app DID seize your email

Blame the bug... bitch

Security for virtualized datacentres

Facebook has admitted its mobile app altered phones' contacts books to use @facebook.com addresses.

The hijack stems from a flaw in the website's design and the decision to provide every user with an @facebook.com handle that forwards to their Facebook message inbox. These addresses are now shown on the site's Timeline to encourage their use.

A bug in the Facebook contacts API caused the mobile client to download and save the most recently added email address, rather than the account default, when synchronising a user's friends list and the phone's contact book. Because the "most recent" was the Facebook address, punters' contacts were rewritten and their email rerouted as a result.

Reports of missing messages were, as predicted, down to mails from non-friends being filed away in the "Other" mailbox on the social network. That's a feature which must surely annoy anyone using Facebook groups (messages from other group members get similarly tucked away) but it's really a result of one not having enough mates.

Despite overwriting personal address books and hiding received emails, Facebook is anything but contrite. The official statement from the company explains that "for people on certain devices, a bug meant that the device was pulling the last email address added to the account rather than the primary email address" without any obvious admission of whose bug that was.

It was Facebook's bug.

Team Zuck says it will have a fix in place first thing on Thursday, after which contact lists will automatically return to using the default email address - assuming the affected users still have the Facebook app installed and set up to synchronise. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.