Facebook data leaked for 50 million users in security breach

Videos showing ‘how to hack Facebook’ running on YouTube

Videos showing ‘how to hack Facebook’ running on YouTube

Facebook Inc. was sued by users of the social network over claims that it negligently allowed hackers to compromise as many as 50 million accounts.

We know of at least two high-profile victims in the data breach: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Next up is the waiting game, as Facebook continues its investigation and users scan for notifications that their accounts were targeted by the hackers.

The verbose explanation given by Facebook on its page may not adequately answer all these questions.

A breakdown of how Facebook spotted the breach is available in this ZDNet article, here.

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Facebook confirmed late Friday that third party apps, including its own Instagram app, could have been affected.

Facebook users Carla Echavarrai and Derrick Walker have already filed a suit in California's Northern District Court, accusing the social media network of violating the state's unfair competition law, negligence and concealing "grossly inadequate" security measures. The vulnerability was in this View As feature of Facebook. Through this vulnerability, they were able to generate keys, access and dump tokens, and sign into user profiles without a password.

The only way to actually avoid being caught up in this hack was to (1) not have a Facebook account, or (2) get lucky, and not be targeted by the hackers. Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) is reportedly investigating the breach and has demanded more information from the Silicon Valley-based company in relation to the nature and scope of the hack.

What is the security token?

When did this breach occur?

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It remains unclear who was behind the attack and whether specific people were targeted. The issue was found by its engineering team on Tuesday afternoon. It stemmed from a change they made to the video uploading feature in July 2017, which impacted "View As". Affected users were logged out and notified of the breach when they were logged back in. However, the fine would only be levied if some of those 50 million accounts exposed by the hack were those of European Union citizens. In total, 90 million user accounts are at risk. Zuckerberg has tried mightily to assure consumers and lawmakers that the site is doing everything in its power to protect personal information while tamping down on foreign meddling during elections. The attack then moved along from one user's Facebook friend to another.

What is Facebook doing to fix the bug? The company has reset the access tokens of the both 50 million affected as well as the 40 million that are at the risk of the breach.

As a result, Facebook reset users' accounts to protect their security.

Over the past few days, Facebook noticed massive unwanted traffic in its "view as" feature, forcing company engineers and security experts to scrutinise its backend code.

Noted Taiwanese hacker Chang Chi-yuan promised to delete Zuckerberg's account, telling his 26,000 followers that the event would be livestreamed on Facebook Live, according to The Verge.

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