Facebook Takes Down New Year Message Service, Restores Swiftly

By Shailesh Shrivastava email: s.shrivastava@mobilenapps.com | Dec 31, 2012 07:45 AM EST

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Close on the heels of the privacy snafu Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's sister Randi suffered, the social networking site went through its last embarrassment of the year - Facebook took down its New Year's messaging service called 'Midnight Delivery' because of some security flaws.

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However, the social networking site moved swiftly and restored the service after taking it down for a few hours.

Facebook launched Midnight Delivery last week to allow its users to send New Year message to their friends at one go. However, the feature, due to the flaw, made the supposed-to-be-private messages, public.

On the page of the service, Facebook had written, "Wish friends a happy new year with a private message that will be delivered to their Facebook inbox at midnight on December 31."

According to a Guardian report, Facebook was alerted by a business IT student at Aberystwyth University, Jack Jenkins, about the security flaw.

"Facebook however have not been very security conscious when setting this (the service) up. By simple manipulation of the ID at the end of the URL of a sent message on the FacebookStories site, you are able to view other peoples Happy New Year messages. At least I was when I edited the ID for myself," Jenkins wrote in his blog.

"We are working on a fix for this issue now, and in the interim we have disabled this app on the Facebook Stories site to ensure that no messages can be accessed," a Facebook representative told The Next Web.

After the restoration of the service, now the confirmation URL window doesn't show the content of the message sent. Instead, it just says, "Your Sent Messages: These messages will be delivered at midnight on New Year's Eve."

This is not the first time that Facebook got mired in security and privacy-related controversies. Recently, Facebook Mark Zuckerberg's sister, Randi, responded furiously when a family photo from her Facebook account was posted on Twitter.

In the picture, Randi was showing the reaction of her family members, including Mark, over the new Facebook messenger service 'Poke'.

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