Facebook removes two-factor authentication mobile numbers from search
Mobile phone numbers used for Facebook's 'Login Approvals' account security feature are no longer searchable through the website
IDG News Service - Facebook users who have associated a mobile phone number with their accounts in order to enable the "Login Approvals" security feature can no longer be found on the website based on those phone numbers, the company said Monday.
Facebook's search system provides reverse lookup functionality that allows users to find other people on the website by searching for their phone numbers or email addresses instead of their names.
"As we constantly iterate on our security tools to better protect our users, we have disabled the reverse lookup functionality for those using Login Approvals until we can provide new systems to make this functionality optional," a Facebook spokeswoman said Monday via email.
Facebook "Login Approvals" is a two-factor authentication feature that requires users to input special codes sent to their mobile phones in addition to their regular passwords when attempting to authenticate from a new device. The feature is designed to prevent account abuse in cases where the user's password is compromised.
The new restriction only applies to mobile phone numbers used for two-factor authentication, not every phone number added by users in the "Contact Info" section of their profile pages, the Facebook spokeswoman said.
Last week, Facebook limited the rate at which phone numbers can be searched on its mobile website in order to block a phone-number harvesting method disclosed by a security researcher.
Suriya Prakash, an independent security researcher from India, publicly reported on Oct. 5 that Facebook's reverse lookup feature can be abused to search for thousands of sequential phone numbers in order to find any Facebook profiles associated with them.
Users can associate multiple phone numbers with their Facebook accounts and can specify if they should be visible to the general public, their friends or only to themselves. However, restricting who can find them on the website by searching for those phone numbers is done from a different option under "Privacy Settings" > "How You Connect" > "Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided."
The default setting for this option is "Everyone," but it can be changed to "Friends" or "Friends of Friends." There is no option to disable it completely.
The search restriction for "Login Approvals" phone numbers is temporary and the company is working on implementing a system that will allow users to decide if they want to make them searchable. However, the company did not clarify whether the upcoming system will allow users to prevent other people from finding them based on any of the phone numbers they added to their profiles.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts