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Oh no…not another Facebook breach

28 Jun 2013

Facebook security breaches…a bit like London buses wouldn't you say?

Nothing happens for months on end, then bang, two breaches come along at once.

Following a bug which exposed the private contact information of over six million Facebook users, Symantec have discovered a further leak - this time through the social media giant's Android app.

According to the security specialists, the breach is sending users' phone numbers over the internet to Facebook servers simply by launching the app.

Of particular note is that users' phone numbers are sent even before logging in to the app. Users also do not need to provide their phone number, initiate a specific action or even have a Facebook account for their phone number to be sent to Facebook.

Upon releasing a new version of Norton Mobile Security, Symantec reported the following:

"The first time you launch the Facebook application, even before logging in, your phone number will be sent over the Internet to Facebook servers.

"You do not need to provide your phone number, log in, initiate a specific action, or even need a Facebook account for this to happen.

"According to Google Play, hundreds of millions of devices have installed the Facebook application and a significant portion of those devices are likely affected."

Symantec says it has notified Facebook and they plan to provide a fix in their next Facebook for Android release.

"They stated they did not use or process the phone numbers and have deleted them from their servers," Symantec said.

"Unfortunately, the Facebook application is not the only application leaking private data or even the worst."

The company says a significant portion of the estimated seven million devices that have installed the Facebook application are likely affected.

"You may be surprised at what your applications are leaking about you," Symantec added.

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