Feeds

Facebook fix a bounty boon for researcher

SMS hijack bug worth $US20k

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A Facebook bug that would allow attackers to take over user accounts with minimal effort has netted $US20,000 for a UK-based security researcher.

As detailed on his blog, Jack Whitten, writing as fin1te, found that accounts could be traversed by exploiting a bug in how Facebook linked user accounts to mobile phones. The registration code sent to users linking phones to accounts arrives with an editable profile_id field, which Whitten demonstrated could be changed to another user.

“The flaw lies in the /ajax/settings/mobile/confirm_phone.php end-point. This takes various parameters, but the two main are code, which is the verification code received via your mobile, and profile_id, which is the account to link the number to,” he writes.

Facebook allows the registration code sent to the attacker to be used to access the victim's account – meaning that the victim's account is then linked to the attacker's phone. Whitten then requested a password reset on the target account, received the changed password form, and took over the account.

According to Whitten's account, Facebook fixed the flaw five days after he reported it. The fix is simple enough: “Facebook responded by no longer accepting the profile_id parameter from the user,” he writes.

“The bounty assigned to this bug was $20,000, clearly demonstrating the severity of the issue,” he concluded. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.