Facebook reveals new details about information hackers stole

14 October, 2018, 04:58 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • 101218 mark zuckerberg facebook

Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen told reporters that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked the company to limit descriptions of the attackers due to an ongoing inquiry.

For another 14 million people affected by the hack, Facebook believes that attackers obtained that same information-as well as additional details like gender, relationship status, religion, birthdates, the last 10 places they checked into, their 15 most recent searches, and the type of device they use to access Facebook.

Cyber attackers stole data from 29 million Facebook accounts using an automated program that moved from one friend to the next, but the social media company said its largest ever data theft hit fewer than the 50 million profiles it initially reported. 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.

Hackers stole neither personal messages nor financial data and did not use their access to accounts users' accounts on other websites, the company said.

Facebook has revealed 30 million accounts were affected in a data breach last month. The security tokens of about 1 million other people were stolen, but hackers did not get their profile information, the company said.

The social network previously confirmed to The Register that the accounts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg were among those affected.

Access tokens work as digital keys, letting those who hold them log into Facebook accounts without entering a password. The feature lets the user see how their profile looks to other people on Facebook.

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Turn on two-factor authentication whenever you can, but especially on your most sensitive or valuable accounts.

But what should you do if your account has been affected?

Because the vulnerability has existed since July 2017, Facebook has not ruled out the possibility that smaller attacks on its token system went undetected before September.

You can delete your account to remove all your info - but it won't actually be gone until after a 30-day "grace period". It also plans to share steps they can take to protect themselves from suspicious emails, text messages and phone calls. There, you'll likely see one of the following two messages: You're in the clear, or your account was affected and here's what data the hackers might have accessed. The hackers had been active for 11 days before Facebook staff noticed something was wrong. The hackers used the "View As" vulnerability to steal access tokens from their own friends, and then repeated that process for friends of those compromised friends.

"There's not much more that Facebook can do", said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

This sort of personal detail can help identity thieves accomplish hacks for years into the future.

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