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Facebook says nearly 50 million accounts impacted by security breach

Facebook today revealed that more nearly 50 million accounts have been affected by a "security issue." Discovered by Facebook's engineering team on September 25, the issue allowed attackers to take over people's accounts by stealing Facebook access tokens.

From Facebook:

Our investigation is still in its early stages. But it's clear that attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code that impacted "View As", a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people's accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don't need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in our code. It stemmed from a change we made to our video uploading feature in July 2017, which impacted "View As." The attackers not only needed to find this vulnerability and use it to get an access token, they then had to pivot from that account to others to steal more tokens.

In response, Facebook has reset the access tokens of the nearly 50 million accounts that it is aware were affected by the breach. Further, the company says it is resetting tokens for an additional 50 million accounts as a precautionary measure.

As a result, people who have had their security tokens reset will have to log back into the Facebook and any of the Facebook apps they were previously logged into.

Given the avenue of attack, Facebook has also opted to turn off the "View As" feature as it conducts a security review. Currently, there's no indication as to who was behind the attack, but Facebook says it has reached out to law enforcement and has fixed the vulnerability.

Facebook, Privacy, and You: The Ultimate Guide

14 Comments
  • Does using 2FA make a difference in this situation?
  • Its always more than they originally say...
  • I agree 💯
  • That's it. I'm done with fb. Gonna figure out how to delete my account because this is getting absurd.
  • That's why I was logged out in the middle of using it on mobile last night.
  • I don't ever frequent FB no more. Might as well delete my account. Nothing in there that is incriminating but that personal but still, it's not even worth it.
  • Facebook....the gift that keeps on giving.....
  • So-so media!
  • I'm glad I deleted my FB account 5 years ago. I keep in touch with my friends and family the old fashion way -- phone call or go see them in person.
  • Ain't nothing wrong with that 💯
  • Soo cool! my grandfather used to tell me stories about how people used to talk on the phone and meet in person
  • I miss Myspace. LMAO
  • Bye Felicia!
  • Google+ was such a fine idea poorly executed by Google. They really had a nice service but the name policy, age gating, and forced bundling (after the fact) of other services into it really killed it (taking Hangouts down with it). Looks like they're using Google Photos and its sharing capabilities to attack the social media market these days, though... Not a bad idea, since Apple had been ignoring iCloud Photo Sharing and Microsoft will likely never develop a Photos app for mobile.