Facebook announces security breach affecting 50 million accounts

Facebook announces security breach affecting 50 million accounts

Its engineering team discovered a security breach on Thursday which affects "almost 50 million accounts".

Rosen stated that Facebook has fixed the vulnerability, informed law enforcement and temporarily disabled the "view as" function.

The hackers were able to steal access tokens, which allowed them to take over affected users' accounts.

An access token keeps you logged into Facebook so you don't need to enter your password each time you visit the site or app.

Facebook says the vulnerability is the result of three distinct bugs, and originally appeared in July 2017 when the company made a change to a video uploading feature. They've also reset access tokens to "almost" 50 million accounts that they know were affected.

At this point, many questions remain: "Since we've only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed", Rosen wrote. He added that access tokens of the nearly 50 million affected accounts, as well as another 40 million accounts, have been reset.

Facebook says it doesn't know who is behind the attacks or where they're based. This "view as" feature could apparently be exploited to also steal access tokens to take over third-party accounts.

Today Facebook admitted to a jarringly large security breach.

If your account was affected, Facebook will notify you in a message at the top of your News Feed when you log back in to explain what happened.

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News of the security breach comes at a particularly vulnerable time for Facebook, which is now facing government investigation and regulation over its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

It doesn't help that the company isn't sure who the attackers are or where the attackers came from.

In effect, any Facebook user's account was wide open to being hacked, although Facebook estimates that "only" 50 million accounts were potentially compromised.

Do you need to change your password?

"People's privacy and security is incredibly important, and we're sorry this happened", Rosen added.

It says it can not say yet whether the accounts were misused or any information accessed, nor does it know who was responsible for the breach.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement indicating the company had patched the vulnerabilities exploited by the attacker (s) and was investigating the incident further.

Facebook has more than two billion users worldwide.

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