Researcher: Face.com iOS flaw could have allowed Facebook, Twitter account hijacking

Face.com patched a vulnerability that could have allowed attackers to hijack the Facebook and Twitter accounts of its customers

Facial recognition start-up Face.com patched a vulnerability in its KLINK iOS app that could have allowed attackers to hijack the Facebook and Twitter accounts of its users, according to Ashkan Soltani, the independent security researcher who claims to have found the flaw.

KLIK is a camera app designed to allow users to easily tag friends in new photos by scanning their Facebook photo albums. It uses facial recognition technology developed by Face.com.

In order to use the app, users need to grant it access to their Facebook accounts. However, the app can also be integrated with Twitter, where it can post messages on their behalf.

A simple vulnerability in the app allowed users to access each others' Facebook and Twitter accounts, Soltani said in a blog post on Monday, the same day Face.com announced that it had been acquired by Facebook.

The vulnerability was caused by Face.com storing Facebook and Twitter OAuth tokens -- unique authentication keys -- on its servers in an insecure way that made them accessible to anyone, Soltani said.

With access to users' OAuth tokens, an attacker could abuse the KLIK app's permissions on their accounts. This includes the ability to access their private photos and friend lists or to post status updates and tweets in their names.

Since the vulnerability affected facial recognition technology, the privacy implications were significant, Soltani said. An attacker could hijack a popular user's account -- like Lady Gaga's, had she used KLINK -- and build face prints for their millions of Facebook friends. Then they could match those in real time to people walking down the street.

"Since this was a vulnerability that could potentially reveal sensitive consumer information, I worked with Face.com, Facebook, and Twitter to make sure it was addressed before disclosing it," Soltani said.

Face.com did not immediately return a request for comment.

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.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - 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."

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

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?