Menu
Facebook fixes flaw that could have let hackers delete photos

Facebook fixes flaw that could have let hackers delete photos

Facebook paid an outside developer US$12,500 for discovering the flaw

Privacy on Facebook

Privacy on Facebook

The speed at which Facebook responded to a reported security vulnerability shows how important photos have become to the site.

The vulnerability could have allowed hackers to delete photos. An outside developer discovered the vulnerability in Facebook's Graph API, the primary way for outside developers to build apps and software that tap into Facebook's data.

The developer, identifying himself as Laxman Muthiyah in a blog post published Thursday, said he was able to use a mobile access token for the API to delete photo albums that were not his.

He alerted Facebook to the vulnerability and Facebook reacted quickly, issuing a fix within two hours from acknowledgment of Muthiyah's report. Facebook also paid him US$12,500 through the company's bug bounty program.

More than two billion photos are shared daily across Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month during the company's fourth quarter earnings call.

Facebook is not aware of any misuse of the vulnerability, a source at the company said. Also, triggering it would have required knowledge of the ID of the person's photo album based on its URL, as well as permission to view the album based on the album's privacy settings.

The issue could not enable someone to log into another's account, nor did it allow access to view any other part of a person's account.

$12,500 is above average for a Facebook bug bounty reward, with $500 being the minimum reward. Last year a computer engineer was awarded $33,500 for discovering a vulnerability that could have let a hacker read almost any file on a Facebook server.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooksocial networkingInternet-based applications and services

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Pantry at Park Hyatt in Auckland to kick-start 2021.

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland
The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Show Comments