Earlier in September, Facebook announced that the Social Network site has been hacked. It reported that an estimated 50 million users might have been affected. The attackers were said to have exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code. The vulnerability was the result of a complex interaction of three distinct software bugs and it impacted “View As,” a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. It allowed attackers to steal Facebook access tokens, which they could then use to take over people’s accounts.
However, On Friday, October 12, Facebook released an update on the extent of the hack and how users can find out if they were affected. The Social media giant on Friday has now declared that 30 million users were affected in the attack. That is 20 million fewer than earlier stated.
Breakdown and Distribution of the Attack
Experts have analysed the attack of the 30 million as follows:
For 15 million people, attackers accessed two sets of information – name and contact details (phone number, email, or both, depending on what people had on their profiles).
For 14 million people, the attackers accessed the same two sets of information, as well as other details people had on their profiles. This included username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birth date, 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.
For 1 million people, the attackers did not access any information.
How to Check If Your Account Was Affected
- The social media giant has launched a dedicated web page to check if you’ve been affected by the hack.
- Log in to your Facebook account and visit the Facebook Help center link (https://www.facebook.com/help/securitynotice?ref=sec)
- Scroll down to the section with the header: ‘Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?’ Read the brief summary under this header
- Users will be given a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer. For users that weren’t affected, they don’t need to take any immediate steps.
- For users who were affected, Facebook will give users a list of data they believe was accessed by hackers.
- Users should receive a ‘customized message’ in the next few days telling them further preventative measures they can take to protect their account.
Alert For Affected and Unaffected Users
Affected users should be on the lookout for unwanted phone calls, text messages or emails from people they don’t know and attempts to use their email address and phone number to target spam or attempts to phish for other information. Facebook users should also be wary of messages or emails claiming to be from Facebook, the company said. Facebook also has a feature that helps you find out all your data that is with Facebook since you started using it, check here
This week, Google acknowledged that half a million accounts on its Google + social network could have been compromised by a software bug.
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