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17 July 2008, 13:16

Facebook fixes data leak

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Earlier this week, social networking website Facebook was forced to plug a data leak which allowed members' dates of birth to be viewed. According to Facebook, the problem only occurred for a short period for a restricted group of users during public beta testing of new profile pages. This period was obviously long enough for anti-virus specialists Sophos to stumble upon it and inform Facebook. Graham Cluley gives further details on the problem and has posted a video on the Sophos blog.

According to Cluley, this incident again illustrates the need for Facebook and other social networking websites to tread carefully when dealing with user data if they don't want to lose their customers. Whether his recommendations will receive a sympathetic ear is doubtful, as security problems are quickly forgotten by many users, meaning that there is little pressure on providers. Even critical security vulnerabilities in large online auction houses, which could lead to monetary losses, are quickly forgotten.

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