Feeds

Facebook fix a bounty boon for researcher

SMS hijack bug worth $US20k

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
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
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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?
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.