Facebook disables bug used to expose Zuckerberg photos

Bug was fixed just a week after Facebook disclosed settlement with FTC over privacy issues

A Facebook bug came back to haunt the company's co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

A spokeswoman for the social networking site Wednesday confirmed that a flaw was discovered in the mechanism that allows Facebook users to report photos on the site that violate the social network's terms of service.

Before it was disabled, the flaw was used to gain access to users' photos - even private photos. In fact, some hackers used the bug to grab photos from Zuckerberg's personal collection and then post them for public online viewing.

"The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user's most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos," the company said in a statement.

"This was the result of one of our recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed," it added.

The problem comes about a week after Facebook disclosed that it had signed an agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, to settle charges that it had deceived users by sharing information it had told them would be private.

The FTC went after Facebook, the world's largest social networking site with about 800 million users, for not keepings its privacy promises to users and for sharing information that users were led to believe would be kept private.

Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, Facebook's latest mess up comes at a bad time for the firm.

"It's another example of why they've come under [FTC] scrutiny. They just don't take security seriously," he said.

"They admitted that [the latest problem] was caused by a recent code push, so it's very embarrassing," Kerravala added. "The culture there is to innovate first, no matter what the cost. This is another black eye for Facebook."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. Federal Trade CommissionFederal Trade CommissionsecurityWeb 2.0 and Web AppsinternetprivacyFacebook

More about FacebookFederal Trade CommissionFTCTopic

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Sharon Gaudin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 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

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place