Technology Facebook admits SMS notifications sent using two-factor number was caused by bug

09:20  18 february  2018
09:20  18 february  2018 Source:   theverge.com

Facebook launches $10 million community leader awards

  Facebook launches $10 million community leader awards Facebook launched a community leadership program on Friday that will award $10 million in total to more than 100 people who have successfully built groups on the social network as part of its push to create "meaningful" interactions.The initiative, announced at a Facebook Communities Summit in London, will give five people with a track record in creating groups up to $1 million to fund a project, Facebook's Jennifer Dulski said.

a close up of a keyboard© Provided by The Verge

Facebook this evening clarified the situation around SMS notifications sent using the company’s two-factor authentication (2FA) system, admitting that the messages were indeed caused by a bug. In a blog post penned by Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, the company says the error led it to “send non-security-related SMS notifications to these phone numbers.”

Facebook uses the automated number 362-65, or “FBOOK,” as its two-factor authentication number, which is a secure way of confirming a user’s identity by sending a numeric code to a secondary device like a mobile phone. That same number ended up sending users Facebook notifications without their consent. When users would attempt to get the SMS notifications to stop, the replies were posted to their own Facebook profiles as status updates.

Less-cool Facebook losing youth at fast pace: survey

  Less-cool Facebook losing youth at fast pace: survey With mom, dad and grandma signing up in increasing numbers, Facebook is losing younger users in the United States at a faster pace than previously estimated, researchers said Monday. A report by eMarketer said Snapchat is drawing youths away from Facebook at a quicker clip than Facebook-owned Instagram.

The issue, which may have persisted for months or perhaps even longer, was flagged by Bay Area software engineer Gabriel Lewi, who tweeted about it earlier this week. Prominent technology critic and sociologist Zeynep Tufekci then used the situation as a springboard to criticize Facebook’s alleged unethical behavior, thinking the 2FA notifications may have been an intentional method for Facebook to boost user engagement.

“I am sorry for any inconvenience these messages might have caused. We are working to ensure that people who sign up for two-factor authentication won’t receive non-security-related notifications from us unless they specifically choose to receive them, and the same will be true for those who signed up in the past,” Stamos writes in the blog post. “We expect to have the fixes in place in the coming days. To reiterate, this was not an intentional decision; this was a bug.”

Google team will bring Smart Replies to more chat apps

  Google team will bring Smart Replies to more chat apps If you've wanted to use Google's canned Smart Replies in chat apps, you've been limited to using Allo or (if you're on the right carrier) Android Messages. But what if you're one of the many, many people using something else? Don't fret: Google's experimental Area 120 group is working on a Reply project that, as the name implies, will bring Smart Replies to many messaging clients (currently just for Android). Hangouts is logically on the list, but so are third-party apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp and even Twitter's direct messages.

Stamos goes on to say that an additional peculiarity in which responses to its 2FA number were posted automatically to a user’s Facebook wall was an unintended consequence of the company holding on to an antiquated SMS feature from the days pre-smartphone, when SMS Facebook updating was more prevalent. “This feature is less useful these days. As a result, we are working to deprecate this functionality soon,” Stamos writes.

Facebook expands customer service tools in Messenger .
Google isn't the only one looking to improve <g class="gr_ gr_14 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" data-gr-id="14" id="14">messaging</g> software to help businesses connect meaningfully (and profitably) with customers.&nbsp;Quick replies have been available on Messenger since 2016, but the new update adds the ability for businesses to get contact info via one of these easy response buttons. When a company asks for contact info, a quick reply button will appear with the email or phone number associated with your Facebook account.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!