Facebook Now States That 29 Million Accounts Were Affected by the ‘View’ as Data Breach
More unfortunate news for Facebook, as the company announced on Friday last week that Cyber attackers had stolen the information and data of over 29 million Facebook accounts utilizing an automated program.
The program in question was used to retrieve this information by moving from one friend’s account to the next.
In response, the company stated that it would reach out to the victims of the cyber-attack via message and inform them of the kind of information accessed by the attackers during the hack.
Additionally, the breach has left millions of Facebook users vulnerable to phishing attacks which could increase tensions for the company, and potentially shatter the confidence that individuals have regarding the privacy of their accounts.
That being said, Facebook’s dedication to security practices and moderation have also been called to question as a result of the numerous security scandals that have riddled Facebook for the past year.
Vital Information Obtained
As a matter of fact, the attackers were able to gain important profile details of over 14 million accounts such as the location check-ins, the recent searches they made, the pages that they followed, the kind of devices that they used, the religious preferences that they had, their education history, their employers, and even their birth dates!
As for the remaining 15 million users, their account breach was restricted to their contact details and their names.
Moreover, these attackers were also able to view the groups, list of friends, and posts of over 400,000 Facebook users.
Facebook on the Spot
That being said, investors and lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned that Facebook is not investing enough of its resources to safeguard the data of users.
Interestingly, the company managed to record a 0.25 percent increase in its shares on Wall Street last week Friday; a much-needed resolve after having suffered a six-day losing streak.
Additionally, its NASDAQ composite managed an index gain of 2.29 percent.
Dumbing down the Numbers
Additionally, when investigators reviewed activity on these accounts, they discovered that Facebook proceeded to reduce the number of affected accounts from what they had provided in their original statement.
That being said, cybersecurity experts have still cautioned that attackers could be using the information they collected from the hacks to carry out extensive phishing scams on these unsuspecting users.
According to the senior researcher at cybersecurity firm Armor Inc, Mr. Corey Milligan, the worst thing is that this information is still out there and could potentially be used for illegal activities.
In a statement to the Press, Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen has said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested the company to minimize the description of attackers to the press as there is currently an inquiry to access the identities and whereabouts of these hackers.
Additionally, Rosen revealed that the main objectives of these attackers were yet to be determined, as they did not appear to have any motive with regard to the mid-term Congressional election that is scheduled for Nov. 6.
An International Attack
He added that the attack had affected a large number of users on an international basis, but had failed to mention the numbers for each particular country.
That being said, Facebook has issued a statement saying that investigations were also ongoing to determine whether or not the attackers have taken any action apart from the theft of the data, such as misuse of posting on people’s accounts. For now, no evidence has been found to prove so.
Additionally, hackers appeared not to have stolen any financial data or personal messages, as well as using their accounts to gain access to other accounts on other websites.
The Element of Trust
Rosen further added that the company is doing all it can to gain the trust of its customers back.
As for investors, Facebook gave them a warning that the resulting breaches would cause the profits of the company to suffer in the process.
That being said, hackers took advantage of the view feature in Facebook’s platform since July 2017, as the company began to notice an unusual surge in the use of the ‘view’ feature.
Indeed, the feature gave users the ability to see privacy settings by giving them a glimpse of how their profile appears in the eyes of other individuals.
However, it is this error that gave individuals access to ‘view as’ and browse and post with the Facebook account of another user.
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