Security: Facebook to educate 30 million users on protection of accounts

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 20, 2018

Facebook's security team has been investigating the incident since September 25, when it discovered that someone was downloading a large quantity of digital access tokens on the social network.

While an ongoing investigation revealed that just 30 million accounts were affected by Facebook's most recent hack, concerns arose around foreign states and supposed political motives as the U.S. midterm elections rapidly approach.

According to "people close to the matter", researchers from inside Facebook suggest that the perps who used the exploit to swipe a load of Pet-Maiden-Name type info are known Instagram and Facebook spam-fritterers, who call themselves a "digital marketing company".

Hackers accessed millions of victims' highly sensitive personal data, including locations, relationship information, recent searches, and birth dates. Speaking to Mashable, a Facebook spokesperson indicated that the social network is actively working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track the attackers. It was taken into account that a "usual suspects" country is behind the hack, for example Russian Federation or North Korea.

In its update, Facebook said that the company was cooperating with the American law-enforcement agency and that 30 million people were affected, down from its original estimate of 50 million.

In the hack, 15 million people had their name and contact details (phone number, email, or both, depending on what people had on their profiles) accessed. Although this corroborates the belief that advertisement was the motivation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working alongside Facebook to ensure that there's not a repeat of the USA presidential election, where Russian and Iranian interference was retroactively highlighted across the platform. Only one million users remained unaffected by the attack. But beyond learning what information the attackers accessed, there is relatively little that users can do beyond watching out for suspicious emails or texts. When a member of a group Messenger was also the administrator of a page on Facebook, a message sent by a user of Facebook became accessible to hackers.

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