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Facebook Messenger Rooms Exploit Bypasses Android Screen Lock Protection

 

As a result of a security flaw in Facebook's Messenger Rooms video chat function, attackers are able to gain access to a victim's private Facebook photographs and videos, as well as submit posts, from their locked Android screen. Messenger Rooms, Facebook's newest video conferencing service, allows up to 50 individuals to video chat at the same time. You can converse for as long as you want, and you don't need a Facebook account to join a room. 

Rooms calls, like Zoom calls, are not secured end-to-end. Unless you change your preferences, the room will be open to anybody you're friends with on Facebook when you create it; they'll not only be able to join, but they'll also see it at the top of their News Feed. According to a proof-of-concept video supplied to Facebook with the vulnerability report, a user's Facebook account may be hacked by inviting them to a Messenger Room, then calling and answering the call from the target device before clicking on the chat function. 

Despite the fact that physical access to a victim's device is required, the assault could be carried out without the victim's smartphone or tablet being unlocked, earning Nepalese security researcher Samip Aryal a $3,000 bug bounty. 

Aryal's newest discovery was inspired by a similar Facebook Messenger flaw he discovered in October 2020, in which users' private, saved videos and watching history might be exposed during a Messenger call via the Watch Together function. The fault, which could be exploited by an attacker with physical access to a locked Android smartphone, was patched along with other comparable flaws by requiring users to unlock their phones before utilizing the impacted features. 

The researcher, who was logged into a Facebook account through a desktop PC, hosted a Messenger Room and invited an account that was active on an Android device to join. After entering the room with the 'malicious' account, he called the victim's device from the 'invited users' section, and the target, screen-locked smartphone began ringing within seconds. “I then picked up the call and tried all previously known sensitive features like ‘watch together’, ‘add people’, etc. but all of them needed to first unlock the phone before using them,” said Aryal. 

The discovery came when the researcher saw a request in the top right-hand corner of the call screen to ‘chat' with other participants. “I found that I could access all private photos/videos on that device without even unlocking the phone, as well as submit posts by clicking on the ‘edit’ option for any media”, he said.

Facebook's Messenger''s Latest Update Supports 50 Participants In a Video Chat Room!


During these ungodly hours of the pandemic with everyone stuck at home and yearning for some one-on-one time with friends and family stuck elsewhere, Facebook has come through like a Knight in shining armor.

It has booted up Messenger and WhatsApp with fresh and much-needed video-calling features in light of the obvious hike in the “need” for video-calls via social media.

In the areas that are affected to the greatest degrees by Coronavirus, researchers have seen an acute escalation in the usage of Messenger and its video calling feature, as much as double the earlier rate.

With the latest WhatsApp update increasing the number of participants in its video/audio calls, Messenger has made available an update that could let users add up to 50 people in the Messenger Rooms.

Turns out that these fresh features were always on the list of updates but they were rolled out to the users a little earlier than planned because of the pandemic and lock-downs.

This update is scheduled to start reaching people soon and would eventually reach all the users but it is bound to take time.

Per sources, Facebook had been working towards preventing ‘unrequired’ and ‘unneeded’ guests from popping in the chats, as well.

There is no dearth of applications willing to help users get through these tough times by connecting virtually with their loved ones. Zoom, another app that has seen crazy growth in the number of its active users to an astonishing 300 Million.

Houseparty is another one that hit the download charts hard when the news of the lock-down first surfaced everywhere in March.

Much like in the formerly mentioned app, until the Messenger Room is ‘open’, guests can drop in and out per their wishes in the group video chats.


With a very thoughtful idea, Facebook had reportedly wanted to create a realistic atmosphere for the video chat users where people could “bump into each other”.

In fact, rumor has it that Facebook is planning to add the group video chat room feature to WhatsApp and Instagram as well but there is no evidence as to when.

The chat rooms that are open to the public shall be listed at the top of the feed. The person creating the chat room would have control over the privacy of the room, about sending the invitations to people who aren’t on Facebook, who gets added and blocking unwanted participants. Participants could also change their backgrounds in real time, mention sources.

Per reports, the feature was first tested in Argentina and Poland where Messenger is supposed to be used the most. The results showed that up to 20 participants could be added at once, but the number is would increase to 50 according to Facebook.

Having uninvited participants show up in their chat rooms has only caused inconvenience to the users especially in the case of Zoom. Facebook has definitely learned from that.

The chats wouldn’t be encrypted end-to-end at least at the beginning of the launching but it’s surely on the to-do list. Monitoring and listening in on the video calls, says Facebook, is absolutely out of question.

The tech giant has also promised that it will keep working towards making Facebook better in every way possible by collecting data from the users about the overall experience, mention sources.

Premium features are being made available for free by the Microsoft teams for some of their apps owing to the Coronavirus outbreak, per sources.

Per reports, usually, the most whopping product launches of Facebook are done via the blog post by Mark Zuckerberg which in this case was used to announce the Messenger Room’s latest update.

To know about the latest feature update of WhatsApp check out the following link:
WhatsApp's Latest Feature Lets You Add More People To Video Calls!