BREAKING —The Facebook Android app is asking for superuser permissions, and a bunch of users are freaking out about granting the Facebook app full access to their device, an understandable reaction following the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
"Grants full access to your device," read the prompts while asking users for superuser permissions.
Prompts originate from the official Facebook app
These popups originate from the official Facebook Android app (com.facebook.katana)" and are started appearing last night [UTC timezone], continuing throughout the day.
Panicked users took to social media, Reddit, and Android-themed forums to share screengrabs of these suspicious popups and ask for advise or what's going on:
Most likely a coding error
Several Android security researchers who spoke with Bleeping Computer suspect the popups are appearing because of a coding error.
Avast mobile security researcher Nikolaos Chrysaidos has taken a look at the Facebook app's source code and believes the offending party is an SDK (software development kit) embedded in the Facebook app.
The package that appears to be triggering the superuser popup is the WhiteOps SDK, a software development kit for detecting ad fraud and implementing domain white/black-lists.
"Yes, it could be a coding error. Most possible yes," Chrysaidos told Bleeping Computer in a private conversation today. "The dialog started popping up on users that are in the beta channel."
"Along with other various checks. Facebook is probably integrating WhiteOps SDK, and they forgot to re-implement the ROOT checking functionality," Chrysaidos says.