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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Facebook security

How to Clear Data Facebook Collects About You from Other Sites and Apps

How to Clear Data Facebook Collects About You from Other Sites and Apps
January 29, 2020Mohit Kumar
Facebook is one of the world's biggest advertising platforms, and that's because it knows a lot about you, me, and everyone. Facebook uses many tools to track people across the Internet, whether they have an account with the social networking site or not, and most of them rely on the online activity data other apps and websites share with Facebook. Everything we do online generates an extensive amount of behavioral data, from buying clothes to looking for hotels, which apps and websites often share with advertising companies, allowing them to build more accurate profiles of your interests and needs. However, after facing worldwide criticism over privacy and data breach controversies, Facebook last summer announced a privacy tool, called Off-Facebook Activity , which gives users more control of their data collected by Facebook. Starting today on Data Privacy Day 2020 , the Off-Facebook Activity feature is now available to every user around the world, which was initiall

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your iPhone's Camera? Some Users Claimed

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your iPhone's Camera? Some Users Claimed
November 12, 2019Wang Wei
It appears that Facebook at the center of yet another issue involving privacy. Reportedly, multiple iPhone users have come forward on social media complaining that the Facebook app secretly activates their smartphone's camera in the background while they scroll through their Facebook feeds or looking at the photos on the social network. As shown in the Twitter videos below, when users click on an image or video on the social media to full screen and then return it back to normal, an issue with the Facebook app for iOS slightly shifts the app to the right. It opens a space on the left from where users can see the iPhone's camera activated in the background. However, at this moment, it's not clear if it's just an UI bug where Facebook app incorrectly but only accesses the camera interface, or if it also records or uploads something, which, if proven right, would be the most disastrous moment in Facebook's history. Found a @facebook #security & #pri

Facebook Now Pays Hackers for Reporting Security Bugs in 3rd-Party Apps

Facebook Now Pays Hackers for Reporting Security Bugs in 3rd-Party Apps
October 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
Following a series of security mishaps and data abuse through its social media platform, Facebook today expanding its bug bounty program in a very unique way to beef up the security of third-party apps and websites that integrate with its platform. Last year, Facebook launched " Data Abuse Bounty " program to reward anyone who reports valid events of 3rd-party apps collecting Facebook users' data and passing it off to malicious parties, violating Facebook's revamped data policies. Apparently, it turns out that most of the time, Facebook users' data that had been misused was exposed in the first place as the result of a vulnerability or security weakness in third-party apps or services. The Facebook ecosystem contains millions of third-party apps, and unfortunately, very few of them have a vulnerability disclosure program or offer bug bounty rewards to white-hat hackers for responsibly reporting bugs in their codebase. Because of this communication g

Use This Privacy Tool to View and Clear Your 'Off-Facebook Activity' Data

Use This Privacy Tool to View and Clear Your 'Off-Facebook Activity' Data
August 20, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Well, here we have great news for Facebook users, which is otherwise terrible for marketers and publishers whose businesses rely on Facebook advertisement for re-targeted conversations. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal , Facebook has taken several privacy measures in the past one year with an aim to give its users more control over their data and transparency about how the social media giant and other apps on its platform use that data. Now in its new effort, Facebook has launched a new privacy feature that allows its users to control data that the social media platform receives from other apps and websites about their online activity. Dubbed " Off-Facebook Activity ," the feature was initially announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year as "Clear History," allowing users to clear the data that third-party websites and apps share with Facebook. "Off-Facebook Activity lets you see a summary of the apps and websites that send us infor

Viral FaceApp Unnecessarily Requests Access to Users' Facebook Friends List

Viral FaceApp Unnecessarily Requests Access to Users' Facebook Friends List
July 29, 2019Mohit Kumar
FaceApp—the AI-powered photo-morphing app that recently gone viral for its age filter but hit the headlines for its controversial privacy policy—has been found collecting the list of your Facebook friends for no reason. The Russian-made FaceApp has been around since the spring of 2017 but taken social media by storm over the course of the past few weeks as millions of people downloaded the app to see how they would look when they are older or younger, or swap genders. The app also contains a feature that allows users to download and edit photos from their Facebook accounts, which only works when a user enables FaceApp to access the social media account via the 'Login with Facebook' option. As you can see in the screenshot above, besides requesting for access to your basic profile information and photos, FaceApp also fetches the list of your Facebook friends "who also use and have shared their friends' lists with FaceApp." Have you yet asked yourself why

Facebook Agrees to Pay $5 Billion Fine and Setup New Privacy Program for 20 Years

Facebook Agrees to Pay $5 Billion Fine and Setup New Privacy Program for 20 Years
July 24, 2019Mohit Kumar
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today officially confirmed that Facebook has agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine over privacy violations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal . Besides the multibillion-dollar penalty, the company has also accepted a 20-year-long agreement that enforces it to implement a new organizational framework designed to strengthen its data privacy practices and policies. The agreement requires Facebook to make some major structural changes, as explained below, that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users' privacy and information it collects on them. "The order requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy from the corporate board-level down, and establishes strong new mechanisms to ensure that Facebook executives are accountable for the decisions they make about privacy and that those decisions are subject to meaningful oversight," the FTC said in a press release . Ac

Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine to Settle FTC Privacy Investigation

Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine to Settle FTC Privacy Investigation
July 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
After months of negotiations, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a record $5 billion settlement with Facebook over its privacy investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal . The settlement will put an end to a wide-ranging probe that began more than a year ago and centers around the violation of a 2011 agreement Facebook made with the FTC that required Facebook to gain explicit consent from users to share their personal data. The FTC launched an investigation into the social media giant last year after it was revealed that the company allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of around  87 million Facebook users without their explicit consent. Now, according to a new report published by the Wall Street Journal, the FTC commissioners this week finally voted to approve a $5 billion settlement, with three Republicans voting to approve the deal and two Democrats against it. Facebook anticipated the fine to between $3 billion and

Facebook Could Be Fined Up To $5 Billion Over Privacy Violations

Facebook Could Be Fined Up To $5 Billion Over Privacy Violations
April 24, 2019Mohit Kumar
Facebook expects to face a massive fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the result of an investigation into its privacy policies—that's about one month's revenue for the social media giant. To be clear the amount of fine is not what the FTC has announced or hinted yet; instead, it's an estimated due that Facebook disclosed on Wednesday in its first quarter 2019 financial earnings report. In its earnings report, Facebook said the company had set $3 billion aside in anticipation of the settlement with the FTC, who launched a probe into Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal . The probe centers around the violation of a 2011 agreement Facebook made with the FTC that required the social media to gain explicit consent from users to share their data. The FTC launched an investigation into Facebook last year after it was revealed that the company allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of around 50 million Face

540 Million Facebook User Records Found On Unprotected Amazon Servers

540 Million Facebook User Records Found On Unprotected Amazon Servers
April 03, 2019Mohit Kumar
It's been a bad week for Facebook users. First, the social media company was caught asking some of its new users to share passwords for their registered email accounts and now… ...the bad week gets worse with a new privacy breach. More than half a billion records of millions of Facebook users have been found exposed on unprotected Amazon cloud servers. The exposed datasets do not directly come from Facebook; instead, they were collected and unsecurely stored online by third-party Facebook app developers. Researchers at the cybersecurity firm UpGuard today revealed that they discovered two datasets—one from a Mexican media company called Cultura Colectiva and another from a Facebook-integrated app called "At the pool"—both left publicly accessible on the Internet. More than 146 GB of data collected by Cultura Colectiva contains over 540 million Facebook user records, including comments, likes, reactions, account names, Facebook user IDs, and more. The

New Settings Let Hackers Easily Pentest Facebook, Instagram Mobile Apps

New Settings Let Hackers Easily Pentest Facebook, Instagram Mobile Apps
March 26, 2019Mohit Kumar
Facebook has introduced a new feature in its platform that has been designed to make it easier for bug bounty hunters to find security flaws in Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram Android applications. Since almost all Facebook-owned apps by default use security mechanisms such as Certificate Pinning to ensure integrity and confidentiality of the traffic, it makes it harder for white hat hackers and security researchers to intercept and analyze network traffic to find server-side security vulnerabilities. For those unaware, Certificate Pinning is a security mechanism designed to prevent users of an application from being a victim of network-based attacks by automatically rejecting the whole connection from sites that offer bogus SSL certificates. Dubbed " Whitehat Settings ," the new option now lets researchers easily bypass Certificate Pinning on the Facebook-owned mobile apps by: Disabling Facebook's TLS 1.3 support Enabling proxy for Platform API requests

New Facebook Bug Exposed 6.8 Million Users Photos to Third-Party Apps

New Facebook Bug Exposed 6.8 Million Users Photos to Third-Party Apps
December 14, 2018Mohit Kumar
Facebook's latest screw-up — a programming bug in Facebook website accidentally gave 1,500 third-party apps access to the unposted Facebook photos of as many as 6.8 million users. Facebook today quietly announced that it discovered a new API bug in its photo-sharing system that let 876 developers access users' private photos which they never shared on their timeline, including images uploaded to Marketplace or Facebook Stories. "When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline. In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories," Facebook said. What's worse? The bug even exposed photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post or didn't finish posting it for some reason. The flaw left users' private data exposed for 12 days, between September 13th an

30 Million Facebook Accounts Were Hacked: Check If You're One of Them

30 Million Facebook Accounts Were Hacked: Check If You're One of Them
October 13, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Late last month Facebook announced its worst-ever security breach that allowed an unknown group of hackers to steal secret access tokens for millions of accounts by taking advantage of a flaw in the 'View As' feature. At the time of the initial disclosure, Facebook estimated that the number of users affected by the breach could have been around 50 million, though a new update published today by the social media giant downgraded this number to 30 million. Out of those 30 million accounts, hackers successfully accessed personal information from 29 million Facebook users, though the company assured that the miscreants apparently didn't manage to access any third-party app data . Here's How Facebook Classified the Stolen Data: Facebook vice president of product management Guy Rosen published a new blog post  Friday morning to share further details on the massive security breach, informing that the hackers stole data from those affected accounts, as follows: For about 1

Another Facebook Quiz App Left 120 Million Users' Data Exposed

Another Facebook Quiz App Left 120 Million Users' Data Exposed
June 28, 2018Swati Khandelwal
People are still getting over the most controversial data scandal of the year, i.e., Cambridge Analytica scandal , and Facebook is under fire yet again after it emerges that a popular quiz app on the social media platform exposed the private data of up to 120 million users for years. Facebook was in controversies earlier this year over a quiz app that sold data of 87 million users to a political consultancy firm, who reportedly helped Donald Trump win the US presidency in 2016. Now, a different third-party quiz app, called NameTests, found exposing data of up to 120 million Facebook users to anyone who happened to find it, an ethical hacker revealed. NameTests[.]com, the website behind popular social quizzes, like "Which Disney Princess Are You?" that has around 120 million monthly users, uses Facebook's app platform to offer a fast way to sign up. Just like any other Facebook app, signing up on the NameTests website using their app allows the company to fetch neces

Facebook bug changed 14 million users' default privacy settings to public

Facebook bug changed 14 million users’ default privacy settings to public
June 08, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook admits as many as 14 millions of its users who thought they're sharing content privately with only friends may have inadvertently shared their posts with everyone because of a software bug. Facebook said in front of Congress in March over the Cambridge Analytica scandal that "every piece of content that you share on Facebook you own, you have complete control over who sees it and how you share it," but the news came out to be another failure of the company to keep the information of millions of users private. Facebook typically allows users to select the audiences who can see their posts, and that privacy setting remains the default until the user itself manually updates it. However, the social media giant revealed Thursday that it recently found a bug that automatically updated the default audience setting for 14 million users' Facebook posts to "Public," even if they had intended to share them just with their friends, or a smaller group

Facebook Accused of Giving Over 60 Device-Makers Deep Access to User Data

Facebook Accused of Giving Over 60 Device-Makers Deep Access to User Data
June 04, 2018Swati Khandelwal
After being embroiled into controversies over its data sharing practices , it turns out that Facebook had granted inappropriate access to its users' data to more than 60 device makers, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, and Samsung. According to a lengthy report published by The New York Times, the social network giant struck data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device manufacture companies so that they could offer Facebook messaging functions, "Like" buttons, address books, and other features without requiring their users to install a separate app. The agreements were reportedly made over the last 10 years, starting before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones. Most notably, the publication suggests that the partnerships could be in breach of a 2011 consent decree by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which barred Facebook from granting other companies access to data of users' Facebook friends without their explicit consent

Facebook Offering $40,000 Bounty If You Find Evidence Of Data Leaks

Facebook Offering $40,000 Bounty If You Find Evidence Of Data Leaks
April 10, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook pays millions of dollars every year to researchers and bug hunters to stamp out security holes in its products and infrastructure, but following Cambridge Analytica scandal , the company today launched a bounty program to reward users for reporting "data abuse" on its platform. The move comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress this week amid scrutiny over the data sharing controversy surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm that obtained and misused data on potentially 87 million of its users . Through its new " Data Abuse Bounty " program, Facebook would ask users to help the social media giant find app developers misusing data, Facebook announced Tuesday. Similar to its existing bug bounty program, the Data Abuse Bounty program will reward a sum of money to anyone who reports valid events of data collection that violate Facebook's revamped data policies . "This program is complemen

How to Find Out Everything Facebook Knows About You

How to Find Out Everything Facebook Knows About You
April 10, 2018Unknown
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress this week to explain how his company collects and handles users' personal information. The past few weeks have been difficult for Facebook over concerns that the data of millions of users has been breached. Facebook stores details of almost every action you have taken and interaction you have engaged in on its platform. What many Facebook users are unaware of, though, is that you can easily download and see all the information Facebook has collected from you in just a few minutes. Here's how to find out what data Facebook has collected over time, including all your past posts, messages, photos, videos and more. Here's how to Download Your Facebook Data: First, sign into Facebook (on a desktop browser, not your mobile). Then, click the drop-down arrow on the top right, and click on "Settings." This will take you to facebook.com/settings, where you will find your "General Account Set
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