Monday, 12 November, 2018

Hackers accessed intimate information of 14 million Facebook users

Image brittany herbert  mashable Image brittany herbert mashable
Russell Knight | 13 October, 2018, 10:28

The FBI is investigating the attack but asked the company not to discuss who may have been behind it, Facebook said.

"We face constant attacks from people who want to take over accounts or steal information around the world", chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on his own Facebook page when the breach was disclosed.

Thirty million people have been affected by a massive hack of Facebook, with the attackers gaining access to millions of victims' highly sensitive personal data.

When asked if any pattern exists among the victims or who might have been behind the attack, Facebook cited an Federal Bureau of Investigation request not to disclose such information. An additional 14 million people had that information breached; as well as other details from their profile, including the device types they use to access Facebook, their education background, and employment data.

Facebook said third-party apps that use a Facebook login and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram were unaffected by the breach.

For 14 million of the accounts, information included hometown, birthdate, the last 10 places they checked into or 15 most recent searches. For one million users, their accounts were hacked but no data was stolen.

Hackers accessed much more private information in a recent Facebook breach than the social media giant previously revealed.

It said: 'On the afternoon of Tuesday, 25 September, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting nearly 50 million accounts.

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It could have affected pages from political and self-help groups as well as businesses that won't like the idea of others accessing their messages.

Of those 30 million, the hackers stole data from 29 million users.

"The attackers started with a set of accounts they controlled directly, then moved to their friends, and their friend's friends, and so on - each time taking advantage of the vulnerability", he added.

Earlier this year, Facebook came under fire for sharing heaps of data for over 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica.

The attackers used a portion of these 400,000 people's lists of friends to steal access tokens for about 30 million people. Up to 90 million people were logged out of their accounts and had those tokens reset as a result of the bug's discovery. Facebook discovered the attack September 25.

So, if Facebook says your "account has not been impacted", are you in the clear?

Mr Rosen said a combination of three bugs in the View As feature, which lets users see what their profile looks like from the perspective of other accounts, made access tokens freely available to copy from the source code of the web page. Facebook will also send messages directly to those people affected by the hack.

Facebook's lead European Union data regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, last week opened an investigation into the breach.

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