Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Hackers accessed personal information of 30 million Facebook users

Hackers accessed personal information of 30 million Facebook users

Almost half of those 30 million also had other personal data accessed including the area where they live, their religious affiliation, relationship status and search history. As if the company wasn't already having a tough time regaining the trust of its user base, Facebook's now announced that information for around 30 million people was exposed during an attack it shut down in September.

The hackers accessed name, email addresses or phone numbers from those 29 million accounts.

Attackers did not access any information for the remaining one million users. The data can be used for all sorts of schemes by sophisticated hackers. And while the company is still sorting out the details and working on ways for developers to mitigate the effects of the attack, there are three things you can do to regain a little more control over your digital life.

Rosen said the company would "do everything we can to earn users' trust".

This, as it sounds, is very bad.

You will see here whether your account was impacted by last month's security breach.

Facebook candidness, and its creation of a page where users can assess their own safety is commendably helpful. Particularly distressing is that the hackers accessed the last 15 searches from millions of users, a hodgepodge of text strings that could be embarrassing and revealing.

The latest disclosure, another in a series of security lapses that have shaken public confidence in Facebook, may intensify political heat on the company. The breach affected about 30 million accounts, fewer than previously thought, the social network confirmed Friday. In Sri Lanka, Myanmar and other countries, hundreds of people have been killed, partly because of the rampant spread of misinformation across social networks and other internet sites.

It was this vulnerability which allowed "an external actor" to obtain access tokens, giving them the ability to log into, and take over, users' Facebook accounts and any of their other services, such as Spotify, Instagram or Tinder, which accept Facebook access tokens. On Monday, Facebook debuted Portal, the company's first hardware device built from the ground up, for high-definition video calls.

As recounted by Rosen, the attackers took advantage of a vulnerability in Facebook's code that existed between July 2017 and September 2018. Facebook says the problem has been fixed.

The social media company announced the breach September 28 and said at the time 50 million users could have been exposed.

Rosen said Facebook has seen no evidence yet that the hackers have been using the stolen data.

In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Rosen declined to answer who might be responsible for the attack or how the information could be used.

According to Facebook, the company has an idea of who committed the hack. It also confirmed the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved - but has told it "not to discuss who may be behind this attack".

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