Facebook now says data breach affected 29 million users

13 October, 2018, 12:28 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Hackers accessed data of 29 million Facebook users

Of the 50 million people whose access tokens we believed were affected, about 30 million actually had their tokens stolen.

Asked whether Facebook could provide any further insight into the identity, location, or intentions of the attacker (s), Rosen said Facebook has been working with the FBI to investigate the incident and the agency asked the company to refrain from discussing who might be responsible. Hackers got even more data from 14 million of them, such as hometown, birthdate, the last 10 places they checked into, or the 15 most recent searches.

Facebook shares fell 2.6 percent after the breach was announced last month and they were down 0.5 percent following the updated disclosures on Friday.

Facebook says it'll be reaching out to users to tell them what next steps they should take, but as always with these attacks, there are a few things you can do right now to ensure you're taking the right steps. Earlier this week the company said it had purged roughly 800 accounts and publishers that were sending out politically-motivated spam about the upcoming USA midterm elections, sparking renewed controversy that Facebook is censoring political speech.

The news comes at a jittery time ahead of the midterm elections when Facebook is fighting off misuse of its site on a number of fronts.

The attackers used the "view as" flaw to breach the accounts of their friends, then used a tool they developed to expand to friends of friends and beyond.

More news: Bulgarian Journalist Raped, Murdered After Corruption TV Program

Facebook said it plans to send messages to users whose accounts were hacked.

Facebook first realized it was under attack after noticing a spike in activity on September 25. The hackers did not access the information of the remaining one million people. They could do so by exploiting three distinct bugs in Facebook's code.

It said its statutory investigation into the breach, and Facebook's compliance with its obligations under GDPR, was continuing. Within two days, we closed the vulnerability, stopped the attack, and secured people's accounts by resetting the access tokens for people who were potentially exposed. Then, they "used an automated technique to move from account to account so they could steal the access tokens of those friends", and then friends of those friends.

The breach was the latest privacy embarrassment for Facebook, which earlier this year acknowledged that tens of millions of users had their personal data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, a political firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.

Facebook did not rule out the possibility of smaller-scale attacks and said it would continue to investigate.

The social network also found no evidence that attackers used the stolen tokens to access any third-party apps, including those that use Facebook's single-sign-in to log in.

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