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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg victim of his own personal privacy flaws

December 06, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Cyber Security, data security, Facebook, internet, Personal Security, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

A flaw in Facebook’s personal privacy security has allowed users access to supposedly private photographs- including those of the website’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg victim of his own personal privacy flawsThe step by step guide on how to circumvent Facebook’s privacy systems have been circulating online for more than two weeks.

The method, which was blocked on Tuesday, involved exploiting systems meant to stop users posting explicit material on the web’s largest social network.

After reporting a public profile picture as inappropriate because of “nudity or pornography”, intruders were offered the chance to report more photographs posted by the same user. Facebook then presented them with a thumbnail gallery of private images which could be enlarged by making a simple change in the browser address bar and downloaded.

“Facebook could take action on your account should this be abused,” the original poster wrote. “I urge you to use on a dummy account if you care about keeping your Facebook profile active.”

It was verified by experts on Hacker News, a widely-read software development website.

“If that doesn’t prove that [Facebook’s] developers aren’t thinking about security, I don’t know what would,” said one developer.

“Nobody who is in a culture of protecting security would even consider building this.”

Using the method, the website’s users raided Mark Zuckerberg’s private albums and posted their contents on other websites.

The 27-year-old is shown in a series of candid shots with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan and his Hungarian sheepdog puppy, Beast.

Zuckerberg’s private photographs also include a picture of him holding an apparently live chicken by its legs; the billionaire has said he only eats meat from animals he kills himself. Some of the photographs were already publicly available.

The 14 pictures were posted anonymously on an image sharing website under the heading “It’s time to fix those security flaws Facebook”.

As well as being potentially personally embarrassing for Mr Zuckerberg, the flaw has been exposed at an awkward time for the firm he co-founded at Harvard University.

Last week Facebook admitted “a bunch of mistakes” after American regulators accused it of “unfair and deceptive” privacy practices.

The Federal Trade Commission investigated a series of controversies over sharing user data with advertisers, access to user data by third party apps and changes to privacy settings that made more user data public without warning.

Facebook was forced to agreed to external inspections of its privacy systems and agree to fines of $16,000 per day for new violations.

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