Launching internal & non-exported deeplinks on Facebook

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Facebook for Android - CSRF Attack

The report was submitted as a collaboration between myself and Rahul Kankrale. The split was 70% Ash & 30% Rahul.


It was possible to override the main UI of Facebook for Android (FB4a) by launching the activity FbMainTabActivity including some additional extras which result in a new music bar being attached across the bottom of the screen. Clicking anywhere in this music bar will launch an attacker controlled deeplink. This deeplink can be both non-exported or an internal Facebook deeplink, bypassing security measures already put in place. The vulnerability affected Facebook for Android and Facebook Workplace

During our research we have identified an additional 2 internal deeplinks which are vulnerable to XSS. So by chaining the original vulnerability to these restricted vulnerable deeplinks it becomes very similar to the report: Breaking The Facebook For Android application


  • A malicious actor is able to launch internal & non-exported deeplinks on a device on behalf of a user, bypassing custom restrictions around deeplinks.
  • A chained vulnerability allows an actor to run arbitrary javascript on a webview inside the FB4a app on behalf of a user.
  • Overriding webviews with a custom urls can lead to phishing due to the activity not exposing the URL.


  • UserA authenticated with FB4a
  • UserA has a Fb_PoC.apk installed on their device


  1. UserA launches the installed application FB_PoC
  2. UserA is redirected to the Facebook Application with a new "Music" bar attached to the bottom of the view.
  3. UserA clicks anywhere in this bar in which it opens an attacker controlled deeplink.

The behaviour flow can be seen here

Understanding the vulnerability

The issue lied within the class com.facebook.katana.activity.FbMainTabActivity under the handleNewIntent method.

As seen in the image above this routine required the following ruleset

  • Must include an extra boolean of should_show_rum_player with a value of true
  • Must include an extra string of rum_destination_uri
  • Must include a flag of FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK

As the rum_destination_uri doesn't go through any sort of validation we are able to provide any valid deeplink

An attackers payload may look similar to the below

Applying the fix

The resolution for this was to completely remove the code block relating this music bar.


  • 14 Dec 2020 - Reported to Facebook
  • 21 Dec 2020 - More Information Requested. Unable to reproduce
  • 5 Jan 2021 - Triaged
  • 18 Jan 2021 - Fixed
  • 28 Jan 2021 - $4000 Total Bounty Paid

Response From Facebook Security Team

After reviewing this issue, we have decided to award you a bounty of $2800. Below is an explanation of the bounty amount. Facebook fulfills its bounty awards through Bugcrowd and HackerOne.

This could have allowed a third party to launch internal deeplinks which could result in various CSRF attack possibilities such as de-anonymization.

Thank you again for your report. We look forward to receiving more reports from you in the future!


about me

30 year old multistack developer & security researcher based in Gosport, UK. I like to blog about interesting vulnerabilities I come across, when allowed 🙄