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Facebook, Twitter Reveal That Android Apps Accessed Users Data

Twitter and Facebook said they will notify those whose information was likely shared through apps

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Android Smartphone phone
Smartphones have become the most important gadget to own these days & Android is a mobile operating system. Pixabay

In yet another data breach, Facebook and Twitter have admitted that data of hundreds of users was improperly accessed by some third-party apps on Android Google Play Store as they logged into those apps.

Security researchers discovered that the One Audience and Mobiburn software development kits (SDK) provided access to users’ data, including email addresses, usernames, and recent tweets, on both the platforms.

Twitter and Facebook said they will notify those whose information was likely shared through apps.

“We recently received a report about a malicious mobile software development kit (SDK) maintained by One Audience. We are informing you about this today because we believe we have a responsibility to inform you of incidents that may impact the safety of your personal data or Twitter account,” the micro-blogging platform said in a statement late Monday.

The companies were notified of the vulnerability by third-party security researchers.

Android is a mobile operating system
Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software. Pixabay

A Facebook spokesperson told The Verge: “After investigating, we removed the apps from our platform for violating our platform policies and issued cease and desist letters against One Audience and Mobiburn”.

We plan to notify people whose information we believe was likely shared after they had granted these apps permission to access their profile information like name, email and gender”.

At the moment, it looks iOS users were not impacted.

According to Twitter, this issue is not due to a vulnerability in Twitter’s software, but rather the lack of isolation between SDKs within an application.

“We have evidence that this SDK was used to access people’s personal data for at least some Twitter account holders using Android, however, we have no evidence that the iOS version of this malicious SDK targeted people who use Twitter for iOS,” said Twitter.

Twitter has informed Google and Apple about the malicious SDK so they can take further action if needed.

Android apps in a tablet
Some of the best apps available for Android smartphones. Pixabay

“We will be directly notifying people who use Twitter for Android who may have been impacted by this issue,” it added.

Earlier this month, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members” information in the last 60 days”.

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The social networking giant found that the apps – primarily social media management and video streaming apps – retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface).

According to the company, the apps designed to make it easier for group admins to manage their groups more effectively and help members share videos to their groups. (IANS)

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Instagram Experiences Highest Outrage While Twitter Reports Least in Q4

The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019

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Instagram
A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages. Pixabay

Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The Twitter outage lasted only about a half an hour, leaving unable to tweet, retweet, like tweets or access their account at the peak of the outage, according to the findings by Downdetector, a company which tracks outages in technology platforms and social media sites. Facebook also experienced an outage on November 28 with 12,726 reports at the peak. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users across the globe.

“The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users in the US, Germany, Italy and Spain,” said the report titled “What Went Down? The Most Significant Online Service Outages in Q4 2019”.

“A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages at the peak of the outage,” it added. Facebook’s Messenger app experienced a smaller outage on November 18, 2019 with 8,952 users reporting outages at the peak.

Instagram
Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019. Pixabay

Snapchat, the popular multimedia messaging app was down for five and a half hours on October 14, 2019, leaving users unable to chat, send or receive photos from their friends. At the peak of the outage, 18,252 users from the US reported problems.

The outage was so significant as the hashtag #SnapchatDown was trending on Twitter at the time of the outage.In the mobile operators category, Vodafone was down for about four hours for thousands of users on October 23, 2019.

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At the peak of the outage, 21,065 users, primarily in Germany, reported having problems with their service, said the report. (IANS)