Facebook hacked: Is your account safe?

Randal Sanchez
October 2, 2018

Facebook would also be exposed to a maximum 2% fine if it failed to notify European Union authorities within 72 hours of discovering the breach. Facebook says it has taken steps to fix the security problem and alerted law enforcement. "Attackers exploited a vulnerability in the code of the "View As" feature, a privacy feature that lets people see what their Facebook profile would look like to another person", he added.

It's also not yet clear who is behind the attack on Facebook, or whether the attacks were targeted, and the reason behind it. Facebook has now patched the vulnerabilities and revoked the compromised access tokens, forcing affected users to log back in (though their passwords haven't been compromised, the company says) and notifying them about the issue.

"On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting nearly 50 million accounts", Rosen stated in a post on Facebook's news website.

"We don't know if any accounts were actually misused", Zuckerberg said.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, may also have been embroiled in the latest security scandal. In that case, the maker of a personality quiz app on Facebook transferred his database of profile information to a third party, Cambridge Analytica.

In response to the first notice of the Indian government, Facebook had admitted that almost 5.62 lakh people were "potentially affected" by the data breach incident.

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It's worth noting that, despite the scale of the breach, 50 million compromised accounts only accounts for around 2% of Facebook's total monthly active users, as of second quarter of 2018. "As I've said before - the era of the Wild West in social media is over". But, unfortunately for Facebook, there are several flow-on effects from the recent hack.

This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in the code. The fear is the attackers could have gained full access to victims' accounts on any third-party app or website where they had logged in with Facebook credentials. "The vulnerability was on Facebook, but these access tokens enabled someone to use the account as if they were the account-holder themselves", Rosen said.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg appeared at a Congressional hearing over Facebook's privacy policies in April. Possession of those tokens would allow attackers to control those accounts.

Facebook is in particular accused of not having been vigilant enough on monitoring the content and authenticity of pages and political ads that it carries. Facebook, which saw revenue of $40.65 billion in 2017, saw revenue for the six months ended June 30 reach $25.2 billion-up 45% from the year-ago period.

The BBC has asked Spotify and Tinder, both of which can be accessed via a Facebook log-in, whether their services have been affected as a result of the breach. He subsequently attempted to backpedal from his comments, which did not impress most of the leftist billionaire's critics.

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