Step-by-step instructions for how to circumvent Facebook’s privacy systems have been circulating online for more than two weeks.
The method, which was blocked on Tuesday, involved exploiting systems meant to stop users posting explicit material on the web's largest social network.
After reporting a public profile picture as inappropriate because of “nudity or pornography”, intruders were offered the chance to report more photographs posted by the same user. Facebook then presented them with a thumbnail gallery of private images which could be enlarged by making a simple change in the browser address bar and downloaded.
The flaw was originally publicised on a body building forum last month.
"Facebook could take action on your account should this be abused," the original poster wrote. "I urge you to use on a dummy account if you care about keeping your Facebook profile active..."