Facebook bug exposes contact information from millions of users
There is no evidence, the company says, that the bug has been exploited maliciously
IDG News Service - A bug on Facebook leaked email addresses and phone numbers provided by some 6 million people on the site to certain other users, the company revealed Friday.
What sparked the problem is a bit complicated. The bug caused some of the information that the social network stores to make friend recommendations to be inadvertently stored in association with people's contact information as part of their Facebook account, the company said Friday on its website.
As a result, if a person were to download an archive of their account through Facebook's Download Your Information (DYI) tool, additional email addresses or telephone numbers for the person's contacts, or other people with whom the user is connected, might have been displayed, Facebook said.
"We've concluded that approximately six million Facebook users had email addresses or telephone numbers shared," the company said.
"This contact information was provided by other people on Facebook and was not necessarily accurate, but was inadvertently included with the contacts of the person using the DYI tool," Facebook explained.
Also, in almost all cases, an email address or telephone number was exposed to only one person, Facebook said. No other types of personal or financial information were included, and only people on Facebook -- not developers or advertisers -- have access to the DYI tool, the company said.
Facebook said the company has no evidence that the bug has been exploited maliciously, and "we have not received complaints from users or seen anomalous behavior on the tool or site to suggest wrongdoing," the company said.
The bug had been live for a year before it was discovered by Facebook's security team last week. Upon confirmation of the bug, the DYI tool was immediately disabled to fix the problem, and it was turned back on the next day after being fixed.
"We'll work doubly hard to make sure nothing like this happens again," the company said.
Facebook is contacting affected users via email.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Data on the Move = Business on the Move; How Strategic Secure Managed File Transfer Adds Value and Drives Business This whitepaper describes the formal and informal file-sharing methods business employees use to perform their daily functions and explains that, from sending small...
- Logicalis eBook: SAP HANA: The Need for Speed Without timely business insights, organizations today can suffer logistical, manufacturing, and even financial disaster in a matter of minutes
- Neustar 2014 DDoS Attacks and Impact Report For the third consecutive year, Neustar surveyed hundreds of companies on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The survey reveals evidence that the...
- Acxiom Case Study This case study, which focuses on Acxiom, explores how the company was able to secure employee data, reduce migration costs and boost productivity...
- Supercharge Your Web and Mobile App Development with High-Productivity Hybrid Cloud Webinar: Hear from industry experts about the amazing power at the intersection of next-generation web and mobile application development and cloud platforms.
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!