May 6, 2010

Facebook flaw makes private chats public

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

A security flaw was discovered on the Facebook website early on Wednesday morning that enabled users to see private chats taking place between friends. Another security issue allowed users to see their online friends’ pending social requests.
The major security oversight, which was reported by TechCrunch, is made visible through a "Preview My Profile..." function on a user’s privacy page, which has been available since September 2008.
Barry Schnitt, director of policy communications at Facebook, said "the bug was live for a few hours and had nothing to do with the changes from April 21" during the company’s latest developers’ conference.
Facebook did not notify individual users who had been subjected to the privacy flaw, although Schnitt said,
"We did notify people via the Facebook page" The chat feature is currently disabled on the site while the company works to rectify the situation. In a statement sent to The New York Times and other press outlets, Facebook said it was aware of the bug and working to fix it:


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