Thursday, 13 December, 2018


What is the impact of the Facebook hack on you?

Aura Information Security general manager Peter Bailey says the question is how many more knocks Facebook can take before the impact becomes What is the impact of the Facebook hack on you?
Conrad Doyle | 01 October, 2018, 23:27

On Friday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press conference regarding the matter. The engineers discovered the bug on September 25, 2018.

Under the law, companies that don't sufficiently protect user data face maximum fines of €20 million ($23 million), or 4% of the company's global annual revenue from the prior year, depending on which sum is larger.

The social media site has apologised for a data breach affecting up to 50 million account holders worldwide, which was identified over the weekend. The vulnerability has existed since a year ago, and is the largest till date.

A new data breach of Facebook has affected almost 50 million of its users. Last time, the data breach was caused by third party app Cambridge Analytica, which Facebook did not consider an actual breach, since the data was dumped through an online app requiring a Facebook login to participate in a quiz. The hackers have also tried accessing profile information like name, gender, location and photos from the compromised accounts.

Facebook does know who it behind the attacks.

Facebook also admitted this week that it uses phone numbers provided for security purposes to target individuals with ads as well as shadow contact information - data not directly provided by the user but obtained from their "friends" list.

What's this "view as" feature? Simply put, it lets Facebook users preview their own accounts.

The company says there were no signs that any accounts were misused.

Rosen would not confirm whether the breach was state-backed, but added the hackers "did need a certain level in order for attacker not only get access but to pivot on the access tokens". These "tokens" were used to access posts, private messages or let the hacker post anything through the accounts. What Facebook knows so far is that hackers got access to the 50 million accounts by exploiting three distinct bugs in Facebook's code that allowed them to steal those digital keys, technically known as "access tokens". The attackers hijacked these access tokens, which helped them log into any of the millions of Facebook accounts. The attackers managed to grab hold of the tokens of accounts through "View As" feature of the social media platform. The weakness of this feature has left the engineering and security team baffled, as once again the privacy of millions has been breached.

It's also not yet clear who is behind the attack on Facebook, or whether the attacks were targeted, and the reason behind it. Facebook has now patched the vulnerabilities and revoked the compromised access tokens, forcing affected users to log back in (though their passwords haven't been compromised, the company says) and notifying them about the issue.

The class-action complaint was filed Friday in federal court in Northern California within hours of Facebook's statement saying it has fixed the breach, the latest in a series of missteps that are undermining confidence in the company's social network and business model.

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