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Facebook says hackers accessed data of 29M users

14 October, 2018, 05:04 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • 101218 mark zuckerberg facebook

"We have been working around the clock to investigate the security issue we discovered and fixed two weeks ago so we can help people understand what information the attackers may have accessed", Guy Rosen, vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post Friday.

Facebook said hackers were able to access phone numbers, email addresses and search information as part of the company's most recent data breach.

It added that hackers also stole information in regard to name and contact details of the accounts of another 15 million people.

Facebook today revealed more information about the September data breach that potentially affected up to 50 million users.

This attack did not affect Facebook Messenger, Messenger Kids, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Pages, payments, any third-party apps, or developer/advertising accounts.

Thirty million people have been affected by a massive hack of Facebook, with the attackers gaining access to millions of victims' highly sensitive personal data.

It's safe to say that this recent Facebook access token hack is a complete mess - much more than a simple inconvenience that might have forced you to log back in to your Facebook account on your devices.

The hackers began by using a series of seed accounts and attacking the accounts of friends, then friends of friends, and so on down the line, eventually amassing a group of 400,000 compromised accounts.

Facebook has also established a Web page that will inform users who are logged in whether their accounts were affected.


Those tokens, which were stolen by taking advantage of three software bugs relating to the platform's View As profile feature, essentially allow an attacker to hijack the Facebook profiles of affected individuals.

The hackers didn't access all of the affected accounts immediately.

Facebook's latest vulnerability has existed since July 2017, but the company first identified it in mid-September after spotting a fairly large increase in use of its "view as" privacy feature.

Additionally, Facebook advises people to be wary of unwanted phone calls, text messages and emails. Facebook has sent customized messages that people will see depending on how they were impacted.

Twenty-nine million Facebook users had their accounts accessed by hackers.

Security experts have said Facebook's initial breach disclosure arrived earlier than it likely would have prior to the enactment in May of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, which mandates notification within 72 hours of learning of a compromise. The news quickly made headlines around the world causing many to worry about their own accounts. Facebook then goes into some detail on how it all went down, which starts with the attackers already having access to some accounts.

The hackers stole the tokens for, but did not access the data on, another 1 million accounts.

"Those personal details could be very easily be used for identity theft to sign up for credit cards, get a loan, get your banking password", he said.

"This doesn't sound very targeted at all", he said.

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