FaceTime exposes customer contact data on its Web site

Company says no sensitive information disclosed

Instant messaging security vendor FaceTime Communications confirmed Wednesday that programming errors caused customer contact information to be exposed on its Web site.

In a statement e-mailed to Computerworld, the company said a script in its white paper request form exposed the contact information of potential clients to a .csv (comma separated value) file on FaceTime's Web site.

"The contact information for people who have requested access to our white papers was accessible via our Web site to those who viewed the source for the Web page and inferred specific paths to .csv files in which this contact information was stored," said Frank Cabri, FaceTime's vice president of product management and marketing, in the e-mail.

According to Cabri, FaceTime determined that its standard security settings for blocking the opening of the .csv file using the full-path URL had been disabled, but said the company wasn't sure why that happened.

"We believe that when applying a security patch, security update or server update, some of the directory-level security settings may have reverted back to the defaults," he said in the e-mail. "We have also implemented a blocking rule so that any requests to access to the directory with these .csv files will be denied, as well as additional security measures that must remain proprietary to FaceTime to maintain the integrity of our Web site."

Cabri said the company took immediate action and closed access to the files Monday, just hours after learning of the issue. He said the files contained company names, contact names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and the states and countries where the companies were located. The files also contained other basic information, including number of employees, instant messaging networks in use and/or the white paper requested, Cabri said.

However, Cabri said no sensitive personal data such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth was exposed because that information is not collected on the FaceTime Web site.

Cabrisaid FaceTime had notified the users whose names were on the list. He added that the individuals involved were not necessarily customers of FaceTime, but rather people interested in the company's white papers and other material.

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Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
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