Facebook’s Android App has started asking for superuser permissions from May 17th which would provide the app with full access to a users phone leading to users panicking when they have seen the pop-up. This may be due to the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The pop-up reads “Grants full access to your device”.
The pop-ups have originated from the Facebook’s official app (com.facebook.katana) which started appearing on Thursday and continued the entire day. Many users have shared the screenshot on Social Media platforms like Reddit and asking for advice what to do.
Although this is not the first time that the Facebook app has asked the superuser permissions, many users have reported this issue on May 8th but the issue went widespread yesterday. The users have reported that they have been seeing the first wave of superuser request dialogs after the app updated to version 184.108.40.206.93 and users have reported that these dialogs started appearing after v220.127.116.11.93. The company has responded that it was a coding error of one of their anti-fraud systems and certain permission management apps on rooted Android phones to look for additional access.
A security researcher from Avast named Nikolas Chrysaidos said it might be the issue with the Facebook’s SDK embedded in the application itself which appears to be trigging the superuser privileges. “Along with other various checks. Facebook is probably integrating WhiteOps SDK, and they forgot to re-implement the ROOT checking functionality,” Chrysaidos says.
Many market analysts believe that it is the worst time for the developers of the Facebook app to have a bug in their code because of all of the privacy ramifications due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Due to this many users are accusing the social network of further immoral spying attempts.
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