Monday, 10 December, 2018

Facebook faces $1.63bn in European Union fine over fresh data breach

Were you one of the 90 million Facebook users who had to log back in to their Facebook accounts 123RFWere you one of the 90 million Facebook users who had to log back in to their Facebook accounts
Jodi Jackson | 02 October, 2018, 16:16

Facebook said they have reset the access token to nearly 50 million accounts that they know were affected by the breach.

The social network's lead supervisory authority in the region, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), tweeted an update on Sunday that it is "awaiting from Facebook further urgent details of the security breach impacting some 50m users, including details of European Union users which have been affected, so that we can properly assess the nature of the breach and risk to users". But, unfortunately for Facebook, there are several flow-on effects from the recent hack.

The UK's privacy watchdog, instrumental in the creation of the GDPR, is also pressing the firm.

People potentially affected were logged out of their accounts on Friday and those definitely affected were notified.

A breakdown of how Facebook spotted the breach is available in this ZDNet article, here.

Facebook announced Friday that up to 50 million accounts were breached in a security flaw exploited by hackers. 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.

The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a year of tumult for the global social media service.

While Facebook says this may be unnecessary since it was not the password that was stolen, but the access token, it's never a bad idea to change your password from time-to-time.

Facebook is the biggest social media platform on the planet with over 2.2 billion users per month. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released a statement describing the hack is "deeply concerning" and calling for a full investigation.

No company that CNN reached out to explained what practical steps they were taking to ensure their users had not been affected by the attack on Facebook.

What's more, if the victims logged into other services - like Tinder, Instagram, or Spotify - with their Facebook accounts, those might be affected to. So, the Facebook has temporarily disabled that feature. "Now that we have reset all of those access tokens as part of protecting the security of people's accounts, developers who used Facebook login will be able to detect that those access tokens have been reset, identify those users, and as a user, you will simply have to log in again into those third-party apps". "The vulnerability was on Facebook, but these access tokens enabled someone to use the account as if they were the account-holder themselves", Rosen said. Possession of those tokens would allow attackers to control those accounts.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on May 1, 2018 in San Jose, California.

Facebook is in particular accused of not having been vigilant enough on monitoring the content and authenticity of pages and political ads that it carries.

It's clearly not been a very good year for Facebook.

The bug allowed hackers to generate access tokens for absolutely anyone on the website.

Just months ago, Zuckerberg found himself in the midst of yet another controversy when he discounted the words of an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier on his platform - even though Facebook has often taken harsh stances against hate speech aimed at Muslims and the LGBT community.

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