Hacker Exposes Big Facebook Security Flaw -- By Posting On Mark Zuckerberg's Private Wall
A Palestinian hacker took matters into his own hands late last week when he discovered a Facebook bug and was rebuffed by the company's official engineers.
Khalil Shreateh, a computer programmer in the West Bank, discovered a flaw that allowed him to post on anyone's wall on the site, even if that user had strict privacy settings. Shreateh initially submitted his find to Facebook's "white-hat" program, a system that lets benevolent computer hackers tell Facebook about security flaws. Facebook pays a minimum of $500 for each bug, as long as the hacker doesn't disclose the loophole before the company has time to address it.
But when the engineering team didn't seem to think the problem was real, Shreateh decided to prove that the bug he found did indeed exist. So, he simply posted on the private wall of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
As he tells it on his blog, Shreateh, who has limited proficiency in English, submitted details of the bug twice. He writes that he was told "I am sorry this is not a bug" by a Facebook engineer after the second notification.
That's when, for better or worse, Shreateh exploited the loophole to post a video on the Timeline of Sarah Goodin, one of Zuckerberg's college friends, and on Zuckerberg's page itself.