Facebook Says Hackers Accessed Sensitive Personal Information on 29 Million Users

Bryan Menegus today at 06:21. 0 comments
Cybersecurity Hackers Mark Zuckerberg

Late last month, Facebook disclosed a massive security vulnerability that it claimed affected some 50 million login tokens, but details were somewhat thin on its impact pending further investigation. In a blog post today, the results are in some ways better and worse.

The company believes its initial estimate of 50 million compromised login tokens—it reset 90 million in total as a cautionary measure—was generous, and Facebook now believes the number of accounts impacted to be closer to 30 million. That’s the good news, if you can call it that.

For 400,000 of the accounts, which these attackers used to seed the process of gathering login tokens, personal information, such as “posts on their timelines, their lists of friends, Groups they are members of, and the names of recent Messenger conversations” and, in one instance, actual message content, were compromised. Of the 30 million ensnared in the attack, Facebook believes that for around half, names and contact information—meaning phone numbers, email addresses, or both—were visible to the attackers; 14 million of that pool had that same information scraped as well as myriad other personal details, which Facebook believes could contain any of the following:

[U]sername, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or Pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches

Facebook believes only 1 million of the total compromised accounts had no personal information accessed whatsoever.

Beginning with a set of accounts controlled by the attackers, the exploit jumped from friends of those users to friends of friends, ballooning to the eventual total of 30 million accounts via an automated script. Facebook reaffirmed that third-party apps were not accessed using the stolen tokens, and that the vulnerability did not affect other services the company owns, like WhatsApp or Instagram.

The vulnerability had existed in Facebook’s code since July of 2017, and resulted in “an unusual spike of activity” September 14 of this year. It would be almost two weeks before the activity was determined to be a legitimate attack, and to have the exploit patched. Facebook is working alongside the FBI, and according to remarks by Vice President of Product Management Guy Rosen this afternoon, the agency’s investigation appears to be ongoing. When asked if any pattern exists among the victims or who might have been behind the attack, Facebook cited an FBI request not to disclose such information. Rosen did state the company does not believe the attack was directly related to the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

According to Rosen, a tool in Facebook’s help center will now show users if they were affected and what information may have been exposed. Users will also see a “customized message” in the coming days to assist in preventative measures.

HighResolutionMusic.com - Download Hi-Res Songs

1 Katy Perry

365 flac

Katy Perry. 2019. Writer: Zedd;Katy Perry;Caroline Ailin;Corey Sanders;Daniel Davidsen;Cutfather;Peter Wallevik.
2 5 Seconds Of Summer

Who Do You Love flac

5 Seconds Of Summer. 2019. Writer: Andrew Taggart;Talay Riley;Oak;Sean Douglas;Luke Hemmings;Calum Hood;Ashton Irwin;Michael Clifford;Trevorious;Zaire Koalo.
3 Brooks

Better When You're Gone flac

Brooks. 2019. Writer: David Guetta;Emma Lov Block;Ido Zmishlany;Jackson Foote;Jeremy Dussolliet;Brooks.
4 DEAMN

Happy flac

DEAMN. 2019.
5 Alec Benjamin

Let Me Down Slowly flac

Alec Benjamin. 2019. Writer: Alec Benjamin;Sir Nolan;Michael Pollack.
6 Ariana Grande

7 Rings flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: Ariana Grande;Richard Rodgers;TBHits;Njomza;Michael "Mikey" Foster;Kaydence;Tayla Parx;Scootie;Oscar Hammerstein II;Victoria Monét.
7 Bruno Mars

Please Me flac

Bruno Mars. 2019. Writer: J. White Did It;DJ White Shadow;Philip Lawrence;Bruno Mars;Cardi B.
8 Avril Lavigne

Dumb Blonde flac

Avril Lavigne. 2019. Writer: Mitch Allan;Bonnie McKee;Nicki Minaj;Avril Lavigne.
9 Halsey

11 Minutes flac

Halsey. 2019. Writer: Matt Schwartz;Halsey;Dominic Harrison;Brynley Plumb.
10 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

Selfish flac

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. 2019. Writer: Victor Thell;Michael Thivaios;Maria Smith;Jeff Porcaro;Dimitri Thivaios;David Paich;Dan Book;Will Grands;ANGEMI.
11 Mike Perry

Way Too High flac

Mike Perry. 2019. Writer: Dimitri Vangelis;Andreas Wiman;Sabrina Bernstein;Pär Westerlund;Mike Perry.
12 Ariana Grande

Needy flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: Tayla Parx;TBHits;Victoria Monét;Ariana Grande.
13 CNCO

Pretend flac

CNCO. 2019. Writer: Luis Daniel Nieves;Diane Warren;Britten Newbill;Rykeyz;Lucky Daye.
14 Icona Pop

This Is How We Party flac

Icona Pop. 2019. Writer: R3hab;Icona Pop.
15 Lauv

I'm So Tired flac

Lauv. 2019. Writer: Lauv;Michael Pollack;Troye Sivan;Leland;OZGO.
16 Ariana Grande

Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: Kandi;Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs;Max Martin;ILYA;Savan Kotecha;Ariana Grande.
17 Afrojack

Ferrari flac

Afrojack. 2019.
18 Normani

Dancing With A Stranger flac

Normani. 2019. Writer: Mikkel S. Eriksen;Tor Hermansen;Jimmy Napes;Normani;Sam Smith.
19 Bebe Rexha

Last Hurrah flac

Bebe Rexha. 2019. Writer: Andrew Wells;Nick Long;Lauren Christy;Bebe Rexha.
20 Armin Van Buuren

Lonely For You flac

Armin Van Buuren. 2019. Writer: Armin Van Buuren;Bonnie McKee;Eden XO;Benno De Goeij.

Suggested posts

Other Bryan Menegus's posts

Language