UberSocial fixes direct-message privacy bug

The direct-message flaw affected a very small number of users, the company says

UberSocial has fixed a bug in its Twitter software for mobile phones that put some users' privacy at risk.

The flaw made direct messages public for a small number of users who may have used the company's UberSocial and Twidroyd software in a very specific way, said Steve Chadima, chief marketing officer with UberMedia, the company that develops UberSocial. Users who typed "d username" and then sent direct messages longer than 140 characters could have had their messages viewed by anyone. Users who send direct messages using UberSocial's default @username syntax were not affected, he said in an e-mail interview.

The flaw was fixed on UberSocial's back-end servers late Thursday, Chadima said.

UberSocial, formerly known as UberTwitter, fixed a similar problem about a month ago, but the company's developers didn't realize that it could be a problem if people typed "d username."

"[N]o one thought of these rarely used conventions like 'd username,'" Chadima said. These are "used almost exclusively by SMS tweeters, not those tweeting from apps that have buttons you can click or tap on to generate a direct message."

"There are so few users that this actually affects that we hadn't caught this until Twitter pointed it out," he said.

Twitter warned users of the problem Thursday with a pair of messages from its @Safety account.

UberSocial says that millions of people have downloaded its software, which runs on the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityPhonesPhone applicationstwitterUberMediaprivacy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?