social network

Facebook users paid attention to the possibility of “punching” numbers of strangers

Anyone can try to find out what a stranger called him on the phone by entering his number in the search field on Facebook. Although this possibility is not new, on November 9 several users of the social network paid attention to it.

“Meet now with a new way to check the call from any unknown phone. Just enter the number in the top search box, “wrote the writer and restaurateur Ina Tundra . Judging by the comments of her friends and subscribers, many did not know about this function.

According to Alexey Glukhov, assistant professor at the Humanitarian Research Institute of the Higher School of Economics, he tied his number after the social network asked him about it. There were other complaints .

I added [the phone] for God’s sake knows some authentication options (not without a bit of paranoia, of course), but prudently closed it in the profile. I enjoyed a private life, until one kind person entered my number in the search box from above. Facebook gave me away with all the giblets.

Alexey Glukhov, Associate Professor of the Humanities Department of the Higher School of Economics

Judging by the Facebook support forum, users are already puzzled by the issue of deleting their number from the social network and tying e-mail in case of loss of access. However, some of them complained that once the “illuminated” number can not be used in another account.

The test showed that in reality it’s possible to find a person on Facebook by phone number if it is associated with a profile. It’s impossible to avoid this: the only thing that a user can do is change the level of privacy – instead of being accessible to everyone, switch to “Only for friends and friends of friends” or “Only for friends”. At the same time, by default, the first option is included, in which any person can find a person by number.

Completely avoid “piercing” by phone number can only be when it is unbinded from the account through the settings. However, in this case, a person will not be able to enter this number or receive notifications of password reset and access codes – although Facebook is gradually switching users to use mobile applications for these purposes.

The main problem here is a specialized menu of privacy, which in Facebook is rendered on the top panel. In the list of three items, the user is asked to check with whom he wants to share his phones – there you can select the option “Only with yourself”, but it’s about displaying the number in the profile, not about the search function.

A similar functionality is in Twitter: in the privacy settings of the microblog service, you can specify “I can be found at the e-mail address”, but the direct query in the search window does not produce the corresponding user account.

The problem of privacy with phone numbers in Facebook in 2012, paid attention to the blog Naked Security . In August 2015, the developer Reza Moaiandin, with a few lines of code, went through all the possible phone numbers in the US, the UK and Canada, searched Facebook users for them, and compiled a database of correspondences without encountering limits on the number of requests.

When he told the representatives of the social network, they said that there is no vulnerability and everything works as intended: the users themselves allowed the search on their phone. Nevertheless, a few months after Moayandin discovered this possibility, the Facebook administration still limited the number of requests with the verification of telephone numbers.

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