Market Overview

50 Million Facebook Accounts Hit By Security Breach

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50 Million Facebook Accounts Hit By Security Breach

As one of the most prominent social media platforms, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) recently reported serving 2.23 billion monthly active users.

What Happened

On Sept. 25, the Facebook team discovered a security threat that affected nearly 50 million accounts, according to the company newsroom. The attacks were conducted by exploiting a weakness in Facebook’s “View As” code.

“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," the company's post said.

Why It’s Important

Facebook has since taken three steps of action to rectify the situation:

  • Fixed the vulnerability and contacted law enforcement.
  • Reset access tokens of all affected accounts to protect security.
  • Temporarily deactivated the “View As” feature, pending a security review.

Facebook has yet to determine if the accounts were misused during the attack, if any sensitive data had been accessed, or who is responsible. This security update occurs at an integral time in the push for increased security and data protection on the quickly diversifying social media sector.

What’s Next

“People’s privacy and security is incredibly important, and we’re sorry this happened. It’s why we’ve taken immediate action to secure these accounts and let users know what happened. There’s no need for anyone to change their passwords,” the note said.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call Facebook is working with the FBI on this incident.

Facebook shares traded around $163.17 at time of publication, down 3.3 percent on the day.

Related Links

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Posted-In: data breach Mark Zuckerberg security updateNews Tech Media Best of Benzinga

 

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