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Facebook Old Generated URLs Still Vulnerable to Open Redirect Attacks & A New Open Redirect Web Security Bugs


"Facebook is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Since 2006, anyone who is at least 13 years old is allowed to become a registered user of the website, though the age requirement may be higher depending on applicable local laws. Its name comes from a colloquialism for the directory given to it by American universities students." (Wikipedia)

"Facebook had over 1.44 billion monthly active users as of March 2015.Because of the large volume of data users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for their privacy policies. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion. As of February 2015 Facebook reached a market capitalization of $212 Billion." (Wikipedia)

Jing Wang, Division of Mathematical Sciences (MAS), School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. (@justqdjing)

(1) General Vulnerabilities Description:

(1.1) Two Facebook vulnerabilities are introduced in this article.

Facebook has a computer cyber security bug problem. It can be exploited by Open Redirect attacks.  This could allow a user to create a specially crafted URL, that if clicked, would redirect a victim from the intended legitimate web site to an arbitrary web site of the attacker's choosing. Such attacks are useful as the crafted URL initially appear to be a web page of a trusted site. This could be leveraged to direct an unsuspecting user to a web page containing attacks that target client side software such as a web browser or document rendering programs.

Since Facebook is trusted by large numbers of other websites. Those vulnerabilities can be used to do "Covert Redirect" to other websites such as Amazon, eBay, Go-daddy, Yahoo, 163, etc.

(1.1.1) One Facebook Open Redirect vulnerability was reported to Facebook. Facebook adopted a new mechanism to patch it. Though the reported URL redirection vulnerabilities are patched. However, all old generated URLs are still vulnerable to the attacks. Section (2) gives detail of it.

The reason may be related to Facebook's third-party interaction system or database management system or both. Another reason may be related to Facebook's design for different kind of browsers.

(1.1.2) Another new Open Redirect vulnerability related to Facebook is introduced, too. For reference, please read section (3).


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