Facebook hackers accessed 29 million accounts, fewer than previously thought
13 October, 2018, 10:28 | Author: Eric Barnett
With those 400,000 accounts, the hackers used the same vulnerability to steal information on millions of Facebook users.
The exact number hadn't been known before. Using some of these accounts, they managed to steal access tokens for an additional 30 million before they were stopped.
While Facebook developer accounts and Oculus profiles were not affected in the breach, the extent of the attack itself makes it something developers that use Facebook both for personal and professional reasons should be aware of.
Rosen declined to say how the attackers went undetected for nearly two weeks as they accessed 30 million accounts.
The hackers accessed name, email addresses or phone numbers from those 29 million accounts. Of that number, 14 million users had further details exposed, including gender, religion, device types, birthday, last checked-in locations, who and what they follow, and most recent searches.
However, unlike other major hacks involving big companies, Facebook said it had no plans to provide protection services for concerned users.
For affected users, and another 40 million that Facebook considered at risk, the first order is to simply sign back into the app, because Facebook signed those users out automatically.
The social media company announced the breach September 28 and said at the time 50 million users could have been exposed.
The FBI is "actively investigating" the breach, Guy Rosen, a Facebook vice-president, told reporters on a call Friday. "For 1 million people, the attackers did not access any information". He said attackers initially used accounts under their direct control, which they had likely created, to exploit the vulnerability in the "View As" feature and steal tokens for the friends of those original accounts.
Company officials declined to say what countries the hackers had targeted, but described the security breach as a "broad" attack.
If you were affected by the hack, you will be notified by a message at the top of your homepage screen.
The attackers, he said, began the attack by obtaining the access tokens of 400,000 seed accounts. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company also said it was taking the precautionary measure of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that were "subject to a "View As" look-up in the previous year", bringing the total to 90 million accounts who will now have to log back into the service.
Below the notice about what information was hacked, Facebook apologizes for the security breach.
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.
The Facebook exec also went into more details on how the attack unfolded.
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