Loophole in Facebook new privacy controls

March 26, 2008

 18-year-old Barron Nicholas

Paris Hilton party pictures leaked on facebook due a security breach on Facebook allowed a Vancouver computer technician to find photos of Paris Hilton partying and ones of her younger brother in private online albums accessible only by their friends. This is a major embarrassment for Facebook after it launched new group security features last week.

The security update did not cover a flaw that had apparently existed for months. Facebook fixed the breach after being alerted to the problem this week. After the security update last week, computer technician Byron Ng proved that the technique still worked by accessing Paris Hilton’s private photos, including snaps of the socialite at the Emmy awards. Byron Ng, who last July cracked the security behind the then-unreleased novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, discovered the security hole when he was checking out an earlier breach that had been fixed by Facebook.

Pairs drunk in one of the bars

MySpace has made similar gaffes a story that was reported in January about putting User IDs into the URLs of private photos on MySpace in order to view them. That breach was said to have been discussed around the web for months before MySpace did anything about it.

Dean Turner, director Symantec global intelligence network, said the breach points to a potential lack of privacy once information or photos are posted online.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company’s key contribution to the important movement for Data Portability would be to nail down the privacy angle. He pointed out, and rightly so, that users will feel far more secure sharing their data online and across different sites, if they can do so with the assurance that they have control over who can see that data. According to the privacy policy outlined on Facebook, there is no guarantee content won’t be seen by unauthorized viewers.

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2 Responses to “Loophole in Facebook new privacy controls”

  1. Tasia Says:

    That is so hilarious! Talk about ironic, with just launching their new privacy controls. In Mark Zuckerberg’s interview at SXSW he stated that one of the items Facebook was going to crack down on was privacy controls. It was impressive with how fast something was done to bring out new privacy features. Too bad it wasn’t hacker-proof.

  2. wattsy Says:

    hopefully they will get the loopholes fixed in facebook. They probably will end up losing users in the future if they don’t address these security problems quicker.


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