FTD.com hole leaks personal information

Friday, 14 February 2003, 10:26 AM EST

A security flaw at FTD.com left private information open to harvesting this week, one of the busiest of the year for the online florist.

The flaw allowed a person to use a modified "cookie" to easily access customer information from the company's servers, said Gerald Quakenbush, an information security analyst for Internet and e-business consulting service Fusion Alliance. Cookies are snippets of data that reside on a person's computer, linking that PC to information and personalized sites on the Web.

"You can steal any customer's information from the site," Quakenbush said in an interview with CNET News.com on Thursday, the eve of Valentine's Day. The security problem exposed customer billing records, including name, address and phone number, by changing a simple number, he added. A specific customer couldn't be targeted by name, only randomly by changing numbers in an FTD.com cookie.

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