A computer hacker has broken into Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg's account and posted a message on his homepage to show how the site's security is deficient, after the company's security team snubbed his efforts to report the problem.
The man, who goes by the name "Khalil," said on his blog
that he submitted several reports to Facebook's "white hat" team about a site vulnerability that allowed him to post on anybody's wall, despite their security settings, reports Gizmodo.
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Researchers who submit a full description of a flaw, plus proof of its existence to Facebook's security page, can get a reward of at least $500. But the second time Khalil submitted the error, he received an e-mail telling him "I am sorry this is not a bug."
Finally, Khalil decided to post on Zuckerberg's wall to prove that he'd found a bug. His post read: "First sorry for breaking your privacy and post to your wall, i has no other choice to make after all the reports i sent to Facebook team ."
He also detailed the situation there and provided links, and a few minutes later a Facebook engineer contacted him for more information, blocking his account "as a precaution" until the bug was fixed.
Khalil's account was re-activated, but he won't get a reward for finding the bug, because his hack of Zuckerberg's wall is considered a violation of Facebook's terms of service.
"Exploiting bugs to impact real users is not acceptable behavior for a white hat," said Facebook.
"In this case, the researcher used the bug he discovered to post on the timelines of multiple users without their consent."
Researchers are permitted to create test accounts through a special Facebook site,
the social network's security team said, noting that more than $1 million has been paid out in rewards to people who report bugs.
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