Metaverse - a place of vigilance for users

Mar 17, 2023 11:15:00 AM
A hacker in metaverse looking for bugs.
In this hyper-connected age, cybersecurity is more vital than it has ever been before. Unfortunately, even the most prominent tech organizations are not immune to security issues - as evidenced by a flaw discovered in Facebook's Instagram API endpoints by Gtm Mänôz that had the possibility of undermining two-factor authentication (2FA) for millions of users around the world.

Vulnerability via Instagram

A bug-bounty hunter, Gtm Mänôz, recently discovered a serious security issue in Facebook's Instagram API endpoints - one that enabled threat actors to get around the two-factor authentication (2FA) procedure on Facebook. By linking an Instagram account with a mobile number already confirmed as belonging to the user's Facebook account, they could generate and utilize a single-use code for verification purposes. This mechanism could be abused with brute force attacks. In this case, the brute-force attack disabled 2FA and removed the user's phone number from their account, making it easier for attackers to gain access. This highlights the importance of secure 2FA implementations, or better, secure MFA.
In this case, the vulnerability of Instagram's API endpoints allowed for the bypass of Facebook's 2FA. This serves as a reminder that API security should not be overlooked, and companies must prioritize securing them.

Bypassing 2FA: Leaving Your Account Unprotected

2FA has become a vital tool in protecting user accounts. According to a study by Google, 2FA blocks 100% of automated attacks and has been proven to significantly reduce account takeovers. This highlights the importance of 2FA and MFA in today's digital age and the severe consequences that come with its bypass. Bypassing 2FA can have severe consequences, especially for Facebook users who rely on it for their online security.

The importance of responsible disclosure and the role of security researchers

Awarding $27,000 to Mänôz is a rather modest testament to the importance of responsible disclosure and the role of security researchers in finding and reporting vulnerabilities.
Bug bounties are crucial for ensuring the safety of interconnected ecosystems as new ways for people to live, work, and relax on the internet emerged.
"One of our priorities is to further integrate the external research community with us on our journey to secure the Metaverse. Because this is a relatively new space for many, we're working to make the technology more accessible to bug hunters and to help them submit valid reports faster," says Neta Oren, security analyst manager and bug bounty lead at Meta.

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