back to article So Darned Kind of you, Facebook: SDK bug sends popular iOS apps crashing earthwards

Those using Facebook to log into services such as Spotify on their iOS devices are having a bad Friday, as something has gone awry with Zuckerberg's ad-slinging platform. A glance at social media reveals a howl from those affected by the problem which appears to have started early this morning (UK time) and hit iOS devices. …

  1. WolfFan Silver badge

    yet another reason to not use ZuckBook

    As if I needed any more than I already have.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: yet another reason to not use ZuckBook

      a reason not to use third-party login services; today it was Facebook, tomorrow it might be Google or any other one

      1. ckm5

        Re: yet another reason to not use ZuckBook

        That's just stupid - it means that $insert_small_cash_strapped_company_here is responsible for keeping your PII secure and we all know how well that will go....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "we all know how well that will go...."

          They will sell all of your PI to FB & C. in exchange for some cash?

  2. Tim99 Silver badge
    Big Brother


    Find the apps that crash, remove them, and never use them again. >>=====>

  3. ratfox

    Should have bought an Android. OH BURN!

    1. RM Myers

      Should have bought an Android

      Slurp! Slurp!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should have bought an Android

        "Slurp! Slurp!" said the person trusting Facebook to manage his online life... :-p

  4. Expat-Cat


    Just a few weeks after Apple make it compulsory to offer Apple authentication services if you use any other third party service?

  5. DS999 Silver badge

    They deserve it

    Who in the world would use credentials from a data broker like Facebook or Google to login to someone else's web site? Not good enough to give them untold amounts of data you're already giving them for free, you have to give them more about your Spotify usage?

  6. IGotOut Silver badge

    Not sure this is entirely correct.

    I think its related to Apple themselves.

    I don't use Facebook to login to apps and still had the same issue, I login using Apple Game Centre.

    Redownloading the app after I removed took almost 20 minutes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure this is entirely correct.

      If the app uses the SDK, then it's possible that calls are made into it even if you don't use Facebook (I'm assuming that the apps where you use Game Centre do have this as an option).

      Sounds more like inadequate handling of error conditions within the API.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Not sure this is entirely correct.

        Just came to update. I looks like even if you don't use it to log in, it could still take the app down.

      2. logicalextreme

        Re: Not sure this is entirely correct.

        That's what I'd expect. Anybody that's worked near web development (I wouldn't say I've worked in it) knows what a bunch of third-party scripts can do to a page load.

        Having finally caved and decided to buy a pair of hair clippers yesterday, I found a couple of sites selling what I wanted (okay, not what I wanted because everything's sold out, but the closest thing to what I wanted at only three times the fscking price) and couldn't seem to get the "Register" button to work on the site I decided to go with. No message, no response. Tried all the usual stuff — removed the plus section from my email address, simplified the password down to alphanum, ticked one of the boxes saying they could contact me with marketing guff; still nothing. Tried it in another browser, same thing. Eventually I got a message in the status bar telling me it was waiting for, and then managed to replicate that a couple of times.

        Gave up and went with the other site, who despite not being able to guarantee delivery times have sent it so it'll arrive on the same day as the first site had guaranteed. Despite the vast amount of analytics guff companies do, I'm surprised they don't think of giving a smidgeon of credence to their devs who are probably screaming at them about their pages choking on Facebook's big long nasty scripts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not sure this is entirely correct.

          We would hope the devs are screaming, however in my experience the quality of devs has plummeted to the point where they don’t give a shit as this sort of website behaviour is seen as normal.

          1. NetBlackOps

            Re: Not sure this is entirely correct.

            They aren't developers. Script-monkeys is my appellation for them as they share the exact same characteristics as script-kiddies in the infosec world. Stack Overflow is their home.

  7. gnasher729 Silver badge

    The last time Facebook f***ed up like that, their server changed one reply from a string to a dictionary or vice versa. If the code that processes the reply blindly assumes that the reply is a string and reads the contents of a string, and it is in fact a dictionary, then the app will crash.

    Any competent server developers would either use versioning, so all old clients get the old response and new clients get the new response. Or they would very carefully examine the old client code and make sure it can handle the new reply correctly. So it looks like Facebook doesn't have competent server developers.

    And any competent client API developers would make sure that their code survives anything that you throw at them from the outside. Clearly that didn't happen, so Facebook doesn't have competent API developers either.

    1. NetBlackOps

      Remember their lord's motto: "Move fast and break things." My code always made use of contracts and validation to ensure compliance even in conditions where all the code was personally written. While it never actually happened, I did not trust myself let alone the rest of the universe. Then again, people would be harmed or killed if I screwed up.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its not just FB profiles

    at least Spotfy and Viber crashed for me even if im not using my FB profile to login.. but its ok now even without an update so looks like its service related issue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes and no

      It may be caused by a problem with the server / service, but error trapping in the client should still be able to detect and handle the problem without crashing.

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Yes and no

        "It may be caused by a problem with the server / service, but error trapping in the client should still be able to detect and handle the problem without crashing."

        Absolutely true. In this case, the server code is written by Facebook, and the SDK that crashes is also written by Facebook. And it crashes - no chance for the calling code to catch any error. The app is taken down immediately.

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