What did Facebook hackers access?

18 October, 2018, 15:41 | Author: Sammy Rose
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As a part of a security breach into the company that was disclosed by Facebook two weeks ago, hackers accessed a wide swath of information which varied from emails and phone numbers to more private details like the websites visited and places checked into. Now, Rosen is reducing that estimate down to around 30 million who 'actually had their tokens stolen.

Facebook did not say who might have been behind the latest attack or if certain groups of people were targeted, but it said it was working with authorities including the FBI to investigate.

Among the 30 million unlucky users, there are 1 million lucky ones - those whose accounts were compromised without any personal information taken. Now it plans to come up with messages to people whose accounts were hacked. Message content was not available to the attackers, with one exception. The attackers accessed even more details on 14 million of those users, including the area where they live, their relationship status and their religion.

Of course, you can't change the fact that your information is now in the hands of strangers.

According to CRN, attackers stole personal profile details such as date of births, employer information, education history, religious beliefs, devices used, pages followed, recent searches, and location check-ins from 14 million users. In additional good news, the company said hackers weren't able to access more sensitive information like your password or financial information.

The attackers used the "view as" flaw with "a small handful" of accounts they controlled to capture data of their Facebook friends, then used a tool they developed to breach friends of friends and beyond, Rosen said. Facebook says the problem has been fixed. A login token is assigned to a profile so a user doesn't have to re-enter their password.

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Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen told reporters that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked the company to limit descriptions of the attackers due to an ongoing inquiry.

As I said in my October 4 article on the data breach, from a PR standpoint, Facebook seems to have acted swiftly.

Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, said the breach appeared similar to identity theft breaches that have occurred at companies including Yahoo and Target in 2013.

"We take these incidents very, very seriously, and nothing is more important to us than the security of people's information", he said.

Nor were Facebook side-projects like Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus or Workplace in the mix. "Usually when you're looking at a sophisticated government operation, then a couple of thousand people hacked is a lot, but they usually know who they're going after".

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