Facebook disables chat after security hole discovered

Filed Under: Data loss, Facebook, Social networks, Video, Vulnerability

Facebook has taken down its instant messaging-style system which allows members to chat real-time with each other after claims that the system suffers from a serious security problem.

According to a report by TechCrunch, a security flaw allows your Facebook friends to secretly spy on your private live chats as well as see any pending friend requests that you have made.

Facebook chat disabled

In the past Facebook has insisted that privacy is its "highest priority", but there is growing concern that the site has played fast and loose with the personal information of its 400 million users, encouraging them to share too much private data online and changing privacy settings to be more "open".

A video has been posted on YouTube which allegedly demonstrates the security hole:

The news that Facebook has disabled its chat system suggests that they are working on fixing the security problem. Hopefully it will be resolved quickly.

But even if this security issue is fixed promptly there are other security issues on Facebook, as with any other social network, that need to be considered if you plan on continuing to use the site. Make sure you read our guidelines for better security and privacy on Facebook.

Oh, and you might want to become a Fan of Sophos on Facebook too to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest security news.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.