Facebook Hack Compromised 30 Million People, Exposing Phone Numbers, Emails

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The social network said in late September that hackers stole digital login codes allowing them to take over almost 50 million user accounts in its worst security breach ever, but did not confirm if information had actually been stolen.

Facebook has divided the 30 million affected users into two categories- the first category has 15 million just had their name and contact details stolen, the second category has 14 million users who had their name, contact number along with all above-mentioned details stolen and the third category has 1 million users whose data was not accessed. They used an automated technique to move from account to account so they could steal the access tokens of those friends, and for friends of those friends, and so on, totaling about 400,000 people.

Facebook's recent hack affected 30 million people, fewer than the company originally believed, but compromised sensitive information like people's phone numbers and email addresses. The bug in the "View As" functionality of the world's largest social media platform was originally used by malevolent actors for accessing profiles of some 400,000 people.

Two weeks ago, Facebook announced that 50 million users were affected, with the possibility of an additional 40 million, so the company reset the "access tokens" or digital keys of the 90 million accounts.

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That breach allegedly related to a "view as" feature - described as a privacy tool to let users see how their profiles look to other people. "It allowed attackers to steal Facebook access tokens, which they could then use to take over people?s accounts".

Facebook is already sending customised messages to the 30 million affected users to explain what has happened.

The social media company said the FBI is investigating, but asked the company not to discuss who may be behind the attack. Nevertheless, Facebook is working with different agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help nail down the perpetrators of the attack. There had been concerns about whether hackers could access outside apps that use Facebook login credentials, but that turns out not to have been the case.

The breach was the latest privacy embarrassment for Facebook, which earlier this year acknowledged that tens of millions of users had their personal data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, a political firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.

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As a result impacted users were briefly logged out of their Facebook accounts and needed to sign in again in order to gain access. Facebook Messenger was also unaffected.

If your account was hacked you will see a message similar to the one shown below which comes from a New York Times reporter's account which was compromised.

Last Friday Facebook said that it had temporarily reset access tokens of nearly 50 million accounts and as a precaution, was resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts.

Facebook has also established a Web page at facebook.com/help/securitynotice?ref=sec that will inform its 2 billion users who are logged in whether their accounts were affected.

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