Hackers accessed 29 million user accounts, says Facebook

16 October, 2018, 14:08 | Author: Regina Silva
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The FBI has asked Facebook not to reveal who may be behind a recent hack that exposed highly sensitive personal information of 14 million users, according to a Facebook security update Friday. Facebook said that around 50 million accounts had been affected, but did not know whether that has been misused or not.

Rosen said the attackers, who have not yet been identified, were able to access the private messages of just one of the 30 million affected users.

"We're cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is actively investigating and asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack", Facebook said on a blog post.

The vulnerability has now been fixed, but not before the attackers used an automated technique to move from account to account so they could steal the access tokens of users, their friends, friends of their friends, and so on, totalling about 400,000 people.

The breach comes after Facebook weathered a scandal surrounding user data earlier this year, caused by the revelation that London-based political research firm Cambridge Analytica had acquired millions of Facebook users' information without their consent.

On yesterday morning, Facebook said that the hackers have accessed names, email address, phone numbers from the accounts.

In the coming weeks, Facebook also plans to send customised messages to the 30 million people affected to explain what information the hackers might have accessed, and steps to protect themselves, including from suspicious emails, text messages, or calls.

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All of those could help a fraudster pose as Facebook, the employer or a friend.

That feature allows users to check privacy settings by glimpsing what their profile looks like to others.

They had access to the information posted on the wall, groups, names of conversations and friends lists.

"We have not ruled out the possibility of smaller-scale attacks, which we're continuing to investigate", he added.

The company isn't giving a breakdown of where these users are, but says the breach was "fairly broad".

Facebook says third-party apps and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram were unaffected by the breach. The last report we had on the Facebook security breach pegged affected users at 50 million but Facebook has dug deeper into the issue.

But a trio of errors in Facebook's software enabled someone accessing the feature to post and browse from Facebook accounts of other users. Although there were 400,000 accounts, they managed to end up affecting 29 million accounts in the social network. If we find more Facebook accounts were impacted, we will reset their access tokens and notify those accounts.

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