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Facebook Stickers Denial of Service on iOS Devices


Facebook users on iOS devices, listen up:

If you’re like me chances are your iPhone is a sort of lifeline; for me it’s my social media hub, my email hub and my 2 Factor Auth hub while I’m on the go.  I also like to have push notifications from certain apps (namely Twitter, Facebook, Messages, etc.) because I like to know what’s going on so I can better plan what my day is shaping up to be.

Enough of my iPhone habits; you may have noticed that Facebook just released a new update for the iOS app, version 6.0, and support for a new messaging feature called Stickers.  (Apparently smiley face’s aren’t enough anymore).

Stickers are essentially over-sized smiley faces (the reason for deploying these is beyond me) that can be sent as a Facebook message without having to hit send.  So tap, tap, tap away and send as many Stickers as fast as you can tap your fingers.  On a Facebook chat session on a full browser this would be a minor annoyance (similar to somebody just sending a rapid succession of messages).  When you apply this scenario to an iOS device with Facebook Push notifications enabled and the situation escalates…exponentially.

In my situation, I received so many Stickers from one chat session that my Facebook app had to create a buffer to store all of the requests and since Stickers are larger than a plain text message or normal smiley face it takes longer to process these messages.

The result of this: my iPhone 4S completely freezing to the point where I couldn’t even slide the unlock button.  Once I did mange to unlock my phone I had to completely remove the Facebook app to regain any sort of normal functionality.

I’m not sure what the effect of this scenario is on an iPhone 5 or an iPad but anybody who is running on an iPhone 4S or less with Facebook Push notifications enabled should probably turn those notifications off…you never know which of your Facebook friends could (un)knowingly DoS your device.

Category: Misc.
  • Nathan says:

    Thanks for the heads-up I just did this to like 5 people ahahaha

    April 18, 2013 at 8:09 am
  • dvb-t says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most guys will go along with with your website.

    April 20, 2013 at 1:22 am

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