I do not work for MySpace. But my Facebook profile now says I do, thanks to what appears to be a sneaky little flaw in MySpace's recently launched e-mail client.
Professional networks on Facebook are intended to be limited to employees, and require a corporate e-mail address to which Facebook sends a confirmation e-mail to verify accuracy. But when MySpace launched MySpace Mail this summer, it made e-mail addresses with the myspace.com domain--which is also used internally for corporate e-mail--available to any members of the News Corp.-owned social network.
A reader tipped off CNET News to the hack, which requires a little bit of HTML know-how. We're not going to give detailed instructions out of the interest of MySpace employees' own security--and it looks like Facebook has put a fix in place, because when a CNET colleague used a MySpace Mail address to register around 2:40 p.m. PT on Wednesday, he was informed that the address was invalid.
In vague terms, it looks like MySpace was aware of the fact that members might try to register for its network on Facebook, because the confirmation link to Facebook does not work in MySpace Mail, nor does copy-pasting it. Basically, it's mangled somehow. But, the tipster explained, the real link is still in the page's HTML source. And indeed, I was able to join MySpace's network on Facebook.
This does have security implications, because many Facebook members limit some of their profile data to people who went to their schools or work for the same company--Facebook first launched corporate networks in the spring of 2005. Many may display their cell phone numbers, photo albums, or home addresses only to college alumni or co-workers.
It's an issue for Facebook as well because the massive social site does have an obligation to make sure that its restricted networks don't lie fallow. If there's a change in corporate e-mail structure at a company with a Facebook network, particularly a big one, that can mean something big with regard to potentially thousands of Facebook members' security.
A MySpace representative told CNET News that the company was looking into the matter and would be able to comment soon.
This post was updated at 2:44 p.m. PT on Wednesday to note that the problem appears to have been corrected by Facebook.