Facebook: Latest hack exposed 20M fewer users than first thought

13 October, 2018, 12:29 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Hackers accessed data of 29 million Facebook users

Nearly 30 million Facebook users' phone numbers and email addresses were accessed by hackers in the biggest security breach in the company's history, Facebook said Friday.

Facebook says that while they believed 50 million accounts had their access tokens exposed to the breach, only 30 million people "actually had their tokens stolen".

The tokens allowed the hackers to steal name and contact details, which include phone number and/or email, for 15 million people.

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".

An additional 14 million users were affected more deeply, having additional details taken related to their profiles, such as their recent search history, gender, educational background, geolocation data, birth dates, and lists of people and pages they follow. That's only 1.34 per cent of Facebook's total active users. Instead, Facebook is doing all it can to sweep this under the rug, once again only notifying affected users (full disclosure: I was one of them) with an innocuous link at the top of their News Feed.

A company executive said on a conference call that Facebook will not provide country-by-country breakdowns of the affected users. And while the larger ramifications of the breach, announced two weeks ago, are as of yet not fully understood, Facebook claims it has a decent grasp on one important detail: Whether or not you are one of the victims.

Access tokens are used to save users the effort of logging in every time they want to use Facebook. However, hackers were able to read messages sent to users who were administrators of Facebook pages.

Microsoft fixed the data loss issue in Windows 10 version 1809
Also, Microsoft Support and our retail stores customer service personnel are available at no charge to help customers. Microsoft has made changes to Windows 10 version 1809 that will address each of those problem areas, he promised.

For another 14 million people, the attack was potentially more damaging.

Last month Facebook revealed that its engineering team had discovered an issue where hackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in the site's "View As" feature.

Facebook says third-party apps and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram are unaffected. If an affected user had been the administrator of a Facebook page, and the page had received a message from another user, that message may have been compromised, Facebook said.

That expanded to "friends of friends", extending their access to about 400,000 accounts, and went on from there to reach 30 million accounts.

However, there is some good news: Facebook found no theft of highly personal messages or financial data, and saw no use of Facebook logins to access other websites, all of which would have been cause for greater concern.

'We're taking this incredibly seriously and wanted to let everyone know what's happened and the immediate action we've taken to protect people's security'.

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