Facebook source code leaked to Internet

Misconfigured Web server exposes code for popular site's user interface

The source code that powers the user interface for popular social networking site Facebook was inadvertently exposed over the weekend due to a misconfigured Web server.

The source code, which was posted Saturday to a blog called Facebook Secrets, was still posted Monday on the blog.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said in a statement e-mailed to Computerworld that "a small fraction of the code that displays Facebook Web pages was exposed to a small number of users" because of a misconfigured Web server that was fixed "immediately."

The incident was not a security breach "and did not compromise user data in any way," the spokeswoman said. "Because the code that was released only powers the Facebook [user interface], it offers no useful insight into the inner workings of Facebook," she added.

However, Pete Lindstrom, a senior security analyst at Burton Group, said that anytime source code is accidentally revealed, "there is potential for an increase in risk." He added that when a company dismisses the security implications of such an incident, there likely really are security issues.

"There are enough folks out there trolling the Web sites and pull that code who will be perfectly happy to try to identify vulnerable areas that could be exploited," Lindstrom said. "If you're release source code to the wild, you're going to have some level of increased risk associated with it. I can't think of a case where you wouldn't."

Nik Cubrilovic, a developer and contributor to TechCrunch, which originally reported the source code leak, blogged that the code could be used by outsiders to better understand how the Facebook application works. With that knowledge, Cubrilovic said, those outsiders can find additional security holes or bugs.

"From just this single page of source code, a lot can be said and extrapolated about the rest of the Facebook application and platform," he wrote. "At a quick glance, I know that I can see some obvious things in the code that both reveal certain hidden aspects of the platform and give a potential attacker a good head start.

"[Facebook] will also need to take some very quick short-term measures to mitigate the risk to users since you can bet that right this minute there are hundreds of potential attackers pouring through the leaked code and probing their systems," he added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?