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Windows 7: New Facebook features secretly add apps to your profile

10 May 2010   #1
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 
New Facebook features secretly add apps to your profile

Quote:
When a piece of software is automatically installed on your computer without your knowledge, it's called malware. But what do you call it when Facebook apps are added to your profile without your knowledge? We discovered that this is actually happening, and stopping it isn't as easy as checking a box in your privacy settings.

If you visit certain sites while logged in to Facebook, an app for those sites will be quietly added to your Facebook profile. You don't have to have a Facebook window open, you don't need to be signed in to these sites for the apps to appear, there's no notification, and there doesn't appear to be an option to opt-out anywhere in Facebook's byzantine privacy settings.

The apps appear to be related to Facebook's latest sharing features and tools. The sites currently leaving this trail all have Facebook integration, and the list includes heavyweights such as the Gawker network of blogs, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNET, New York Magazine, and formspring.me.

It isn't entirely clear what information these apps are pulling from user profiles or feeding back to Facebook. They aren't automatically visible to friends viewing your profile page, but if you go to an application's profile page, you can see a list of your friends who also have that app installed, essentially getting a unintentional peek at their browsing habits. On the other side there are sites like the Washington Post's, which has a Facebook Network News box showing a list of your friends who have recently shared a Washington Post article on Facebook.
More -
New Facebook features secretly add apps to your profile | Security Central - InfoWorld

Quote:
Facebook privacy changes: Five can't-miss facts

Privacy has long been a thorny issue for Facebook: Three years ago, the social networking site unveiled its Beacon advertising project, which resulted in a class-action lawsuit. December’s privacy changes aimed at encouraging users to share more information publicly evoked plenty of criticism. And this week at Facebook’s f8 conference, Facebook announced even more changes that affect users’ privacy.

Keeping track of Facebook’s ongoing updates, upgrades and changes—and how they affect your privacy—can be confusing and frustrating. We’ve sorted through the new wrinkles for you. Here’s a list of five essential privacy settings you should review now and tweak accordingly to ensure your information remains safe.
1. Facebook Privacy Settings: “Instant Personalization” and “Like” Buttons

What the “Like” button is: Facebook’s big announcement this week from the f8 conference was the new “Like” button, which you’ll start seeing on blogs and news sites across the Web. When you click the button on an external website, you authorize Facebook to publish your activity to your Facebook profile (which, in turn, will also be published to your friends’ news feeds). Also, when your friends visit the external site, they will see that you’ve visited that site, too.
Source -
Facebook privacy changes: Five can't-miss facts | Security | Macworld

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

After that story was published, Facebook responded to it. Here is the Facebook response.

Quote:
"In this case, there was a bug that was showing applications on a user’s Application Settings page that the user hadn’t authorized. No information was shared with those applications and the user’s list of applications was not shown to anyone but the user. This bug has been fixed."


As per the source article, "It does appear that unauthorized apps are no longer being added to users' pages, however any unwanted applications that were previously added will still need to be removed manually."

Source: New Facebook Social Features Secretly Add Apps to Your Profile (Updated) - PCWorld
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2010   #3

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)
 
 

Seems like at least once a week that I hear something about Facebook that re-validates my decision not to go there.......usually, it's in one of my podcasts though. Thanks for another informative post!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2010   #4
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Quote:
Despite Jason Perlow’s ramblings, the Facebook momentum continues to grow. People are clicking “Like” all across the Web and sharing more than ever about themselves on the social networking site, just as Facebook and its partners had hoped.
In a post on its developer’s blog today, Facebook said that more than 100,000 sites have already integrated social plug-ins and that early results prove that people want to “interact and share and see what their friends recommend.”

As Facebook users keep sharing, partners see traffic grow and privacy advocates keep waving red flags | ZDNet
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #5
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #6
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 
Facebook Rolls Out New Account Security Features.

Quote:
Facebook users can now register the browsers they regularly employ to log in from and choose to be alerted when their account is accessed from somewhere else. In case of suspicious activity, additional security questions must be answered, after which the recent logins can be reviewed.

Over the last few weeks, we've been testing a new feature that allows you to approve the devices you commonly use to log in and then to be notified whenever your account is accessed from a device you haven't approved. This feature is now available to everyone," Lev Popov, a Facebook software engineer, announces on the company's official blog.

The new option to receive such notifications can be found on the Account Security section on the Account Settings page. Once this is activated, when logging in, the site will ask users to name the "devices" they are employing and will give the option to have them remembered and automatically approved for future sessions. When a new device is added this way, Facebook sends out an e-mail and, optionally, an SMS notification.

What Facebook calls devices are actually browser installations, because as far as we can tell, the system works by installing special cookies. In our tests, attempting to login from a different browser installed on the same computer will still trigger the device name prompt. This is also true for different installations of the same browser, such as a local and portable one.

Source -
Facebook Rolls Out New Account Security Features - Suspicious login notifications now available - Softpedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2010   #7
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Quote:
Facebook Bug Exposes Users to Dangerous CSRF Attacks

A security researcher exposed a serious security hole in Facebook, which gave attackers an easy way to force users into unknowingly executing various actions on their accounts. Attacks were reportedly still possible after Facebook announced that the problem was fixed.

The issue, which renders Facebook's CSRF protection useless, was discovered by M. J. Keith, a senior security analyst at cloud-based security solutions provider Alert Logic. According to the company's advisory, the social networking giant was notified about the vulnerability on May 11.

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) is a type of attack which involves tricking browsers into performing requests to websites on behalf of logged-in users. In theory, this can be done remotely by luring the user onto a page containing specially crafted JavaScript code.
Source -
Facebook Bug Exposes Users to Dangerous CSRF Attacks - Patch status undetermined - Softpedia
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