Researchers say Facebook security breach affected more users than the social network admits

facebook teen security headerWhen Facebook came clean about a recent security bug that caused the exposure of 6 million users’ personal information to their contacts, they softened the blow by saying that the effect of the bug was probably minimal, since the people who likely received their friends’ data could have already had access to the contact info in the first place. Facebook users were outraged nonetheless, and it turns out they had reason to be: According to Sophos, the Facebook info leak is actually much worse than we were told and that the researchers who initially discovered the existence of shadow profiles are saying that the numbers don’t match up.

Researchers at the company Packet Storm compared their prior test data that verified the leak to the amount of information Facebook claims it accidentally left out in the open, and found out the following:

In one case, they stated 1 additional email address was disclosed, though 4 pieces of data were actually disclosed. For another individual, they only told him about 3 out of 7 pieces of data disclosed. It would seem clear that they did not enumerate through the datasets to get an accurate total of the disclosure.

Facebook claimed that information went unreported because they could not confirm it belonged to a given user. Facebook used its own discretion when notifying users of what data was disclosed, but there was apparently no discretion used by the ‘bug’ when it compiled your data. It does not appear that they will take any extra steps at this point to explain the real magnitude of the exposure and we suspect the numbers are much higher.

According to the same report, Facebook was also effectively collecting non-user contact information, which was also exposed by the security bug. Facebook declined to comment when Packet Storm asked the company to produce a collective accounting of all the information affected by the mishap. When asked about the company’s efforts to inform non-Facebook users affected by the breach, Facebook simply said “[non-users] were not contacted and the information was not reported … if [Facebook] attempted to contact non-users, it would lead to more information disclosure.”

Facebook’s apology post owned up to the social network’s technical errors, but if this latest development is true, then it erases any applause the company earned for its apparent transparency.

Sophos suggests that while we all wait for an official (and legitimate) Facebook fix, users can remove contacts they’ve imported into the social media account to minimize further unauthorized access and information dissemination. Don’t worry about the threat of your friend recommendations becoming less relevant as a result of this deletion – most of us are already Facebook friends with the people that matter, anyway. If you’re not, then maybe take a quick look through your recommended friends list, do what needs to be done, and then get out. 

Gaming

Epic Games graded ‘F’ on customer service by Better Business Bureau

Epic Games, the studio behind Fortnite, received an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau over complaints against its customer service and issues with exchanges and refunds. Epic Games said that it has addressed the issues.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Mobile

Save the date: The Samsung Galaxy S10's reveal is set for February

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Photography

Lume Cube wants to help you look your best while livestreaming

You're ready to start a video conference or go live, thenn you realize the lighting is all wrong. The Lume Cube Air VC is a lighting kit designed specifically for video conferencing and livestreaming.
Social Media

Japanese monks hit Twitter to protest driving ticket in the most brilliant way

Cops in Japan told a monk recently that he shouldn't drive a car wearing his traditional robe as its long length and long sleeves might affect his ability to drive safely. His fellow monks came up with a brilliant response.
News

Japanese billionaire splashes the cash to break retweet record

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has proved again he has a knack for self-publicity after launching a cash-prize contest to break the retweet record. Maezawa is the same man who is hoping to go to the moon with SpaceX.
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Photography

Photoshop fail gives Aussie leader two left feet in official portrait

The Aussie prime minister doesn't have two left feet, despite an official photograph of the leader and his family suggesting otherwise. It was, of course, a Photoshop fail, and the embarrassing snafu was soon trending on Twitter.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.