Facebook: 29 Million Accounts Hacked

15 October, 2018, 05:33 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • Image brittany herbert  mashable

Facebook said Friday that hackers accessed personal data of 29 million users in a breach disclosed late last month, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had asked the social media company not to reveal who was behind the attack.

Facebook said it will send customized messages in the coming days to affected users to explain what information the attackers accessed and how they can protect themselves, including from suspicious emails, text messages or calls.

For the other 15 million users, the breach was restricted to name and contact details.

The company's shares rose 0.2 per cent on Friday, compared to a 2.2 per cent gain in the Nasdaq composite index.

In September, Facebook had said that hackers had stolen digital log-in codes to take over almost 50 million user accounts.

"The bottom line is that all this data is still out there", said Corey Milligan, a senior researcher with cyber-security firm Armor Inc.

"We have not ruled out the possibility of smaller-scale attacks, which we're continuing to investigate", Facebook's head of product management, Guy Rosen, wrote in a blog post. They do not believe the breach was related to the upcoming midterm elections.

While Facebook has cautioned that the attack was not as large as it had originally anticipated - it forced 90 million users to log out so the security of their profiles would reset - the details of what was stolen anxious security experts.

Facebook says for 15 million of the compromised accounts, the attackers basically just got names and contact details such as "phone number, email, or both, depending on what people had on their profiles".

Rosen said the company would "do everything we can to earn users' trust".

She would not say if the help pages in question had been updated since the company discovered the recent breach.

Facebook's latest vulnerability has existed since July 2017, but the company first identified it in mid-September after spotting a fairly large increase in use of its "view as" privacy feature. For 14 million people, the attackers accessed the same two sets of information, as well as other details people had on their profiles. In additional good news, the company said hackers weren't able to access more sensitive information like your password or financial information.

Facebook noted that the attack did not include its other apps and devices such as Messenger, Messenger Kids, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, payments, third-party apps, or advertising or developer accounts. When it first reported the breach September 28, Facebook said the number of those affected was about 50 million. Here is a look at how to find out if your Facebook data was included in the security breach. Authorities in other jurisdictions including the USA states of CT and NY are also looking into the attack.

The most immediate way to check whether your account was affected is to visit the Facebook Help Center. It wasn't patched until last month, after the company's engineers noticed some unusual activity that turned out to be the attack.


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