Researcher: Face.com iOS flaw could have allowed Facebook, Twitter account hijacking

Face.com patched a vulnerability that could have allowed attackers to hijack the Facebook and Twitter accounts of its customers

Facial recognition start-up Face.com patched a vulnerability in its KLINK iOS app that could have allowed attackers to hijack the Facebook and Twitter accounts of its users, according to Ashkan Soltani, the independent security researcher who claims to have found the flaw.

KLIK is a camera app designed to allow users to easily tag friends in new photos by scanning their Facebook photo albums. It uses facial recognition technology developed by Face.com.

In order to use the app, users need to grant it access to their Facebook accounts. However, the app can also be integrated with Twitter, where it can post messages on their behalf.

A simple vulnerability in the app allowed users to access each others' Facebook and Twitter accounts, Soltani said in a blog post on Monday, the same day Face.com announced that it had been acquired by Facebook.

The vulnerability was caused by Face.com storing Facebook and Twitter OAuth tokens -- unique authentication keys -- on its servers in an insecure way that made them accessible to anyone, Soltani said.

With access to users' OAuth tokens, an attacker could abuse the KLIK app's permissions on their accounts. This includes the ability to access their private photos and friend lists or to post status updates and tweets in their names.

Since the vulnerability affected facial recognition technology, the privacy implications were significant, Soltani said. An attacker could hijack a popular user's account -- like Lady Gaga's, had she used KLINK -- and build face prints for their millions of Facebook friends. Then they could match those in real time to people walking down the street.

"Since this was a vulnerability that could potentially reveal sensitive consumer information, I worked with Face.com, Facebook, and Twitter to make sure it was addressed before disclosing it," Soltani said.

Face.com did not immediately return a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?