UberSocial fixes direct-message privacy bug

The direct-message flaw affected a very small number of users, the company says

UberSocial has fixed a bug in its Twitter software for mobile phones that put some users' privacy at risk.

The flaw made direct messages public for a small number of users who may have used the company's UberSocial and Twidroyd software in a very specific way, said Steve Chadima, chief marketing officer with UberMedia, the company that develops UberSocial. Users who typed "d username" and then sent direct messages longer than 140 characters could have had their messages viewed by anyone. Users who send direct messages using UberSocial's default @username syntax were not affected, he said in an e-mail interview.

The flaw was fixed on UberSocial's back-end servers late Thursday, Chadima said.

UberSocial, formerly known as UberTwitter, fixed a similar problem about a month ago, but the company's developers didn't realize that it could be a problem if people typed "d username."

"[N]o one thought of these rarely used conventions like 'd username,'" Chadima said. These are "used almost exclusively by SMS tweeters, not those tweeting from apps that have buttons you can click or tap on to generate a direct message."

"There are so few users that this actually affects that we hadn't caught this until Twitter pointed it out," he said.

Twitter warned users of the problem Thursday with a pair of messages from its @Safety account.

UberSocial says that millions of people have downloaded its software, which runs on the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityPhonesPhone applicationstwitterUberMediaprivacy

More about BlackBerryIDG

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Robert McMillan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts