Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

30 million Facebook users have personal data accessed by hackers

30 million Facebook users have personal data accessed by hackers

The social media company said the FBI is investigating, but asked the company not to discuss who may be behind the attack.

Facebook announced Friday that hackers had accessed personal information from about 29 million of its users' accounts.

Hackers had no information to data from Messenger, Messenger Kids, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Pages, payments, third-party apps, or advertising or developer accounts, according to Rosen.

Out of those 30 million, hackers successfully accessed data from 29 million Facebook members. One million accounts were affected but hackers didn't gain information. And for 14 million more people, the hackers were able to get a lot more information, like username, gender, relationship status, religious, birthday, and a ton of other information including things you've searched for. It plans to send messages to people whose accounts were hacked.

Facebook says it'll be reaching out to users to tell them what next steps they should take, but as always with these attacks, there are a few things you can do right now to ensure you're taking the right steps.

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

At that point, Facebook had started investigating the issue, so it wasn't exactly sure which users had actually been impacted.

Upon request from the FBI, Facebook declined to offer any information as to who might be behind the attack, or whether users in specific regions were targeted.

The hackers began with a set of accounts they controlled, then used an automated process to access the digital keys for accounts that were "friends" with the accounts they had already compromised.

This "grace period" used to be 14 days, but it was reported last week that Facebook raised it to a month. 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.

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The Facebook exec also went into more details on how the attack unfolded.

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. Rosen said he can't rule out that the different campaigns exploited the same vulnerability during that time.

Facebook has also established a Web page that will inform users who are logged in whether their accounts were affected.

For 1 million, attackers only collected access tokens.

What may have motivated the attackers is still unclear; despite mounting concerns about election security as USA officials count down to a highly contested midterm election, Facebook said there was no indication the hack was specifically related to the US electoral process.

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