Facebook hack says you might want to back up your cherished photos

13 February 2015

Bitterwallet - FacebookIf you have a Facebook account, chances are, you've got a load of important photos on there. Your graduation day might be on there. That night out you had with pals you haven't seen for a decade. That time your mate shot themselves through the foot when you went clay pigeon shooting. Cherish memories.

Well, you might want to back those photos up because a security researcher has just discovered that he can delete all your Facebook memories with four lines of code.

Someone called Laxman Muthiyah was mucking around with Facebook's Graph API. On their blog, after musing about whether or not they could delete other people's photos, they wrote: "I decided to try it with Facebook for mobile access token because we can see delete option for all photo albums in Facebook mobile application isn't it? Yeah and also it uses the same Graph API. so took a album id & Facebook for android access token of mine and tried it."

Of course, a good chunk of that is impenetrable techspeak to most people, but basically, what this means that, Facebook access tokens is the line of characters that allows an app to gain access to your profile. Laxman used such a token for the Android app and a random photo album ID and, lo and behold, it transpired you could get in and start mucking around with people's stuff.

For those who like to get under the hood of things, click here to see Laxman's workings-out. Or, if you prefer, you can watch a video of it instead of reading all that pesky text.

Now, Laxman has reported this to Facebook and they promptly fixed the bug. However, that's not to say that they're aren't other flaws in the security of social networks.

So, with that, it is advised that you back your photos up if you don't want them vanishing off the internet. There's a number of cloud services like Google Drive and the iCloud to store your photos, but as we know, they're not guaranteeing your stuff is locked-down either, what with the recent Fappening occurrence.

The best bet, if you have a load of photos, is to store them on your hard-drive or buy an external drive to keep them in. A bit of a faff, sure, but if you're determined to keep hold of those photos from when you ran through a field covered in brightly coloured powder for charity, then you'll need to do something about it.

TOPICS:   Social Media   Privacy   How To Guides

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