Facebook now says data breach affected 29 million users

Image brittany herbert  mashable

The social network apologized for the incident in a statement, explained the measures it was taking to protect possibly affected users and said law enforcement authorities had been alerted.

Shedding new light on the hack, Mr Rosen said the attackers used an "automated technique" to move from account to account stealing tokens of friends-of-friends, "totalling about 400,000 people".

This 2013 photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts as part of the security breach disclosed two weeks ago. The vulnerability, Facebook said, had existed since July 2017.

For one Mn people, the attackers did not access any information.

However, the attackers did not access any credit card information associated with members' accounts, and that the company has not received any reports of stolen information being available on the dark web. Namely, 20 million fewer accounts had their tokens stolen than what Facebook originally projected. Resetting the tokens logged the affected Facebook users out of the service.

Facebook did not reveal whether there was any specific group targeted by the hackers, the geographic location of the victims, or any potential motive.

Previously, the company said only profile information exposed in the "View As" feature was accessed, which is basically a user's name, gender and hometown. On the Facebook Help Center users can check if they have been affected and what information may have been accessed.

The attackers accessed even more The attackers accessed details on 14 million of those users, including the area where they live, their relationship status and their religion.

Facebook says the FBI is investigating a major security breach of its service, but the company says authorities asked it not to discuss who may be behind the attack.

Facebook said third-party apps that use a Facebook login and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram were unaffected by the breach. Facebook also provided a list of the kind of data that was stolen/used by hackers during the breach.

Facebook said last month that it detected the attack when it noticed an uptick in user activity.

Despite this, European Union privacy watchdog Data Protection Commission Ireland (DPC Ireland) announced it was investigating the data breach for possible violations of Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

So far, Facebook said it hasn't seen the information appear anywhere else online, but the company continues to investigate the incident with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI officials have asked Facebook not to share details on the suspected identities of the attackers for fear of compromising the investigation.

These access tokens are like digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don't need to re-enter their password every time they use Facebook. 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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