Sunday, 18 November, 2018

30 million user accounts hacked, says Facebook

Facebook Image Facebook says lists of users' friends were trawled
Lloyd Bates | 15 October, 2018, 05:30

In September, Facebook had said that hackers had stolen digital log-in codes to take over almost 50 million user accounts. That's down from the 50 million accounts the social network first estimated, but it's still not great news. This includes your name, email address, phone number, and other information such as your date of birth and recent locations you've checked in to or been tagged in.

The company has a website its 2 billion global users can use to check if their accounts have been accessed, and if so, exactly what information was stolen.

The company had initially said 50m accounts were affected but now revised it "only" 30 million. Rosen did state the company does not believe the attack was directly related to the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. Check Facebook's help center to see if your data was leaked.

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

Facebook said the FBI is investigating, but asked the company not to discuss who may be behind the attack.

News of the hack emerged on 5 October when Facebook said it feared 50m users had been affected.

The message there will differ depending on whether you were affected. Brian Acton, a co-founder of the Facebook-owned smartphone application WhatsApp, has called for people to delete their Facebook accounts. "Message content was not available to the attackers", unless you are the Admin of a page that had its access token stolen. Colin Bastable, CEO of Lucy Security which focuses on cybersecurity prevention and awareness, painted an especially grim scenario.

In the days since, Facebook has scrambled to figure out how things went wrong, who could be responsible for the attack and what the attackers planned to do with the information.

He said the attack affected a "broad" spectrum of users, but declined to break down the number affected by country.

By deleting your account, you will remove your personal information from Facebook's servers.

On Friday, the company said there were actually fewer users - 30 million - who were affected by the breach.

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The social network said it's working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify the attackers, and could not reveal additional information about the source of the attacks.

And there is an easy way to find out if your account was compromised.

"We are working with local regulators including JPPC about the data breach", the company said in an emailed statement.

"These companies have a staggering amount of information about Americans". "The cost of inaction is growing and we need answers". On Thursday, Facebook disclosed that it had removed hundreds of accounts and pages used to spread disinformation in the United States.

On September 14, Facebook engineers had detected some unusual activity on the social media platform's networks. A spike in traffic triggered an internal investigation.

"We've fixed the vulnerability and informed law enforcement".

The vulnerability was introduced in July 2017 when a feature was added that allows users to upload happy birthday videos. For 14 million people, the attackers accessed the same two sets of information, as well as other details people had on their profiles. The feature was built to give users more control over their privacy.

"The attackers already controlled a set of accounts, which were connected to Facebook friends".

Not every account was accessed in the same way. There had been concerns about whether hackers could access outside apps that use Facebook login credentials, but that turns out not to have been the case.

Last month, Facebook announced it had been the target of a data breach potentially affecting up to 50 million users.

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