1-16-10AT&T Mobility Internet flaw causes wrong accounts to show
A Georgia mother and her two daughters logged onto Facebook from mobile phones last weekend and wound up in a startling place: strangers' accounts with full access to troves of private information.
The glitch — the result of a routing problem at the family's wireless carrier, AT&T — revealed a little known security flaw with far reaching implications for everyone on the Internet, not just Facebook users.
In each case, the Internet lost track of who was who, putting the women into the wrong accounts. It doesn't appear the users could have done anything to stop it.
AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said its wireless customers have landed in the wrong Facebook pages in "a limited number of instances" and that a network problem behind those episodes is being fixed.
Coe said an investigation points to a "misdirected cookie." A cookie is a file some Web sites place on computers to store identifying information — including the user name that Facebook members would enter to access their pages. Coe said technicians couldn't figure out how the cookie had been routed to the wrong phone, leading it into the wrong Facebook account.
Facebook declined to comment and referred questions to AT&T.