Skip to main content

Facebook Bug Exposes Private Contact Information of Over Six Million Users

By June 22, 2013March 6th, 2023Cybersecurity

Facebook had a hiccup – and it cost 6 million of its users some their private information.

The contact information exposed shared information with other members on Facebook, the social media giant said. Late last week, they discovered a bug in the “download your information” tool that allows users to get a list of their information for themselves. The bug leaked some of this information unintentionally and exposed their contact details. Thanks to the company’s White Hat program, the bug was reported and fixed within 24 hours of that report. The White Hat program offers a minimum of $500 for significant bug reports with no maximum.

Facebook admits they’re “embarrassed” by this mistake in their security blog, and indicated they will work exceedingly hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The security blog stated this about the bug:

“Because of the bug, some of the information used to make friend recommendations and reduce the number of invitations we send was inadvertently stored in association with people’s contact information as part of their account on Facebook. As a result, if a person went to download an archive of their Facebook account through our Download Your Information (DYI) tool, they may have been provided with additional email addresses or telephone numbers for their contacts or people with whom they have some connection. This contact information was provided by other people on Facebook and was not necessarily accurate, but was inadvertently included with the contacts of the person using the DYI tool.”

Facebook doesn’t have any indication the bug was used in any malicious way, and it appears it went unnoticed by many who used the tool. Just in case, the social media giant has notified regulators across the world just in case their assumption is in correct.

While security is always important, and this kind of glitch is never a good thing, this bug is less intrusive than it could have been, as information was only shared with people who already had some contact information for the exposed persons.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.