Facebook says hackers accessed data of 29 mil users

13 October, 2018, 12:28 | Author: Billie Castillo
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Facebook is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine exactly how this happened, and per the official press release, the FBI's asked Facebook "not to discuss who may be behind the attack".

The attackers had access to a limited number of accounts to begin with, and it's not clear if these were bogus to begin with, but they were connected to other "friends" on the site.

Rosen added that the attack did not affect other Facebook-owned apps, such as Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and others.

Initial worries that the token pilfering might have led to the compromise of third-party apps implementing Facebook Login turn out to be completely unfounded. The attack started out with the theft of tokens belonging to 400,000 people, which were then used to steal access tokens from the Facebook friends of those 400,000 people and onward until 30 million were hit. Another one million users had their accounts accessed but no information stolen.

Users can visit the Facebook "Help Centre", to see whether they were affected and what information was stolen, including the last ten places they checked in, their hometown and last ten searches they made.

Facebook says it noticed "an unusual spike of activity" on September 14, and on September 25, determined that it was being attacked.

Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts as part of the security breach disclosed two weeks ago.

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He said protecting elections is a "big focus" for Facebook and that it has many teams "ensuring that we can protect the security of the upcoming elections, as well as all other elections around the world".

The spotlight on tech companies intensified further this week as Google said that half a million accounts on its Google+ social networking service could have had information leaked as a result of a software bug. Earlier this week the company said it had purged roughly 800 accounts and publishers that were sending out politically-motivated spam about the upcoming US midterm elections, sparking renewed controversy that Facebook is censoring political speech.

Today Facebook has published an update on what happened, what's happened since, and what's going to happen next.

The attackers apparently used some kind of automated method of grabbing access tokens from friends of accounts they already controlled.

Facebook users can relax and get back to interacting with quality content and authentic individuals on the social network.

Perhaps the best news from Facebook is that only 30 million accounts were affected, rather than 50 million it said originally. It plans to send messages to people whose accounts were hacked.

Facebook did not rule out the possibility of smaller-scale attacks and said it would continue to investigate. The other million people didn't have any information stolen.



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