Feeds

Facebook fix a bounty boon for researcher

SMS hijack bug worth $US20k

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.