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<a href="/news/facebook-bug-leaks-contact-information-of-6-million-users" title="Facebook ‘Bug’ Leaks Contact Information of 6 Million Users">Facebook ‘Bug’ Leaks Contact Information of 6 Million Users</a>
Posted on: 27 Jun 2013 

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Facebook ‘Bug’ Leaks Contact Information of 6 Million Users


Facebook has revealed that a ‘bug’ has leaked the information of 6 million of its users, including emails and phone numbers.

Related to Facebook’s Download Your Information (DYI) tool, which has been criticised in the past for not offering enough transparency, the code used by Facebook to make friend recommendations inadvertently caused the sensitive info of potential contacts to be associated with other users’ account data, said a report on The Register.

Users whose accounts were associated with the data that then elected to use the DYI tool were able to download the wrong information, regardless of whether they were friends with that person or not.

In response to the problem, Facebook put out an advisory notice on its site, saying: “After review and confirmation of the bug by our security team, we immediately disabled the DYI tool to fix the problem and were able to turn the tool back on the next day once we were satisfied that the problem had been fixed.”

According to a report by Reuters, the leak began in 2012 and lasted a year before being noticed by Facebook in the middle of June. Taken the length of time that the bug was exposing the private information of users account info, we are lucky that only six million users were affected and not a significantly larger proportion of the social networks 1.1 billion users.

“We currently have no evidence that this bug has been exploited maliciously and we have not received complaints from users or seen anomalous behaviour on the tool or site to suggest wrongdoing,” Facebook’s White Hat team said on the official company blog. Adding that, while the breach was (fortunately) limited, “it's still something we're upset and embarrassed by, and we'll work doubly hard to make sure nothing like this happens again.”

Backing up your data

With so many businesses relying on Facebook and other social media sites as a marketing and promotional tool, any leak of private information could have very damaging and long-lasting effects if the information were to end up in the wrong hands. Fortunately, on this occasion the leak appears to have been low key, but next time it may not be.

As it is often impossible to tell whether sensitive information has been leaked until it has actually happened, it is imperative that you ensure data is always backed up. Cloud Online Backup provides a comprehensive disaster recovery solution that backs up all office computers and servers using 256-bit military grade encryption.

While Facebook says it is committed to improving safety procedures and keeping the information of its users safe and secure, it is important to safeguard against any such data leaks hampering your business, and Cloud Online Backup is the only sure way of doing this. 

The Register