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Identity & Access

Flaws Allowed Facebook Account Hacking via Oculus App

Facebook recently patched a couple of vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by malicious hackers to hijack accounts by abusing integration with the Oculus virtual reality headset.

Facebook recently patched a couple of vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by malicious hackers to hijack accounts by abusing integration with the Oculus virtual reality headset.

Facebook announced the acquisition of Oculus VR back in July 2014 and added Oculus assets to its bug bounty program a few weeks later. Several vulnerabilities have been found in Oculus services since, including a series of flaws that earned a researcher $25,000.

In October, web security consultant Josip Franjković decided to analyze the Oculus application for Windows, which includes social features that allow users to connect their Facebook account.

Franjkovic discovered that a malicious actor could have used specially crafted GraphQL queries to connect a targeted user’s Facebook account to the attacker’s Oculus account. GraphQL is a query language created by Facebook in 2012 and later released to the public.

According to the researcher, a specially crafted query allowed an attacker to obtain the victim’s access token, which under normal circumstances should not be accessible to third-party apps, and use it to take control of their Facebook account.

Franjkovic demonstrated an account takeover method by using a specially crafted query to add a new mobile phone number to the targeted account and then leveraging that number to reset the victim’s password.

The vulnerability was reported to Facebook on October 24 and a temporary fix, which involved disabling the facebook_login_sso endpoint, was implemented on the same day. A permanent patch was rolled out on October 30.

A few weeks later, the expert discovered a login cross-site request forgery (CSRF) flaw that could have been exploited to bypass Facebook’s patch.

This second flaw was reported to Facebook on November 18 and again the facebook_login_sso endpoint was disabled on the same day as a temporary fix. A complete patch was implemented roughly three weeks later.

The researcher has not disclosed the amount of money he earned from Facebook for finding the vulnerabilities, but he told SecurityWeek that the social media giant classified the issues as critical and he was happy with the reward he received.

Facebook revealed last week that it had paid a total of $880,000 in bug bounties in 2017, with an average of roughly $1,900 per submission.

Technical details for the vulnerabilities can be found on Franjkovic’s blog. In the past years, the expert reported several vulnerabilities to Facebook, including ones that could be exploited to hijack accounts.

Related: Facebook Flaw Allowed Removal of Any Photo

Related: Facebook Awards $40,000 Bounty for ImageTragick Hack

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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