Yet another issue has come up in the world of Facebook. The issue comes in the form of a security breach that could cause you to lose your account.
Guy Rosen, VP of Product Management at Facebook recently made a post earlier today bringing awareness to a security issue the company had that occurred on Tuesday (September 25th). Basically, about 50 million user accounts may now be compromised. If things are not taken care of quickly, the attackers could literally end up taking control of these user’s profiles.
While the breach was dealt with access could still be gained as a result of it having happened in the first place. The company is currently working with the FBI and conducting an investigation to figure things out and stop this from happening again. At the moment we do not know who carried these attacks out or where they were even based from.
“We do not yet know if any of the accounts were actually misused. This is a really serious security issue, and we are taking it really seriously.”
This whole ordeal seems to be the result of bugs that were introduced into Facebook’s code in July of 2017. At the moment it does not seem that any credit card numbers or passwords were stolen. We will know more as time goes on and Facebook says it is working to make changes that will prevent this kind of thing.
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.
Here is the action we have already taken. First, we’ve fixed the vulnerability and informed law enforcement.
Second, we have reset the access tokens of the almost 50 million accounts we know were affected to protect their security. We’re also taking the precautionary step of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” look-up in the last year. As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back into Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook Login. After they have logged back in, people will get a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened.
Third, we’re temporarily turning off the “View As” feature while we conduct a thorough security review.
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.
Since we’ve only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed. We also don’t know who’s behind these attacks or where they’re based. We’re working hard to better understand these details — and we will update this post when we have more information, or if the facts change. In addition, if we find more affected accounts, we will immediately reset their access tokens.
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. But people who are having trouble logging back into Facebook — for example, because they’ve forgotten their password — should visit our Help Center. And if anyone wants to take the precautionary action of logging out of Facebook, they should visit the “Security and Login” section in settings. It lists the places people are logged into Facebook with a one-click option to log out of them all.
While you may be notified that you were one of the accounts affected, not everyone will be notified in the future. For more information on this please feel free to check out the video below. With things like this happening, how can we trust social media at all?