Almost 50 million Facebook accounts hacked due to existing vulnerability on platform

Almost 50 million Facebook accounts hacked due to existing vulnerability on platform

So, the next time you use Facebook, you have to login again.

Facebook Inc. was sued by users of the social network over claims that it negligently allowed hackers to compromise as many as 50 million accounts.

Second, they have reset the access tokens of the nearly 50 million accounts we know were affected to protect their security.

According to the social networking firm, attackers exploited three vulnerabilities in Facebook's code related to the "View As" feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. Both allege that Facebook's lack of proper security has exposed them and additional potential class members to a significantly increased chance of identity theft as a result of the breach.

Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management wrote in a blog post: "Since we've only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed".

Importantly, if you log into other services with Facebook, this access token would treat you as being logged into those services too. But the benefit comes at a cost, all these platforms will share the same access credentials. So I guess there is no need to freak out, Facebook has got everything under its control now.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Ireland's Data Protection Commission, the leading entity that looks over Facebook for the European Union, has asked for more information pertaining to the hack.

On Friday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press conference regarding the matter.

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How did Facebook get to know about the hack? Facebook is now investigating the origins of the hack and the scale on which it was conducted.

The company also advised users that changing their password is not necessary in this situation, but if anyone has trouble logging back into their accounts, they should visit their Help Centre.

Moreover, you can uninstall the Facebook app and re-install it later, for that will ensure your old authentication tokens are lost.

If you try to access the "View As" feature now, an error message appears saying that it has been "temporarily disabled". Several Facebook users (including the author of this story) noticed the odd occurrence this morning and posted to social media wondering what happened.

Hackers could also use the information they stole to defraud you, potentially gaining access to your bank accounts or other important services.

It has since been resolved but bosses have admitted they weren't sure if user details are safe.

What can you do to protect your Facebook account?

"Because this issue impacted access tokens, it's worth highlighting that these are the equivalent of a username and password combination but are used by applications to authenticate against other applications", said Tim Mackey, senior technical evangelist at Synopsys. In that case, the maker of a personality quiz app on Facebook transferred his database of profile information to a third party, Cambridge Analytica.

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