Facebook, the social networking giant, already under scrutiny over the issue of sharing private information of its users, on Friday said that an attack on its computer network has exposed the private information of nearly 50 million users. So effectively around 50 million accounts have been hacked and potentially another 40 million are at risk. So Facebook is saying that around 90 million people have been affected because of a security bug in a feature called ‘View As’.
“On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts. We’re taking this incredibly seriously,” Guy Rosen, Facebook VP of product management wrote on the company blog.
Data of around 50 million users have been exposed following a huge security breach by unknown hackers, said the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It has also been feared that a significant number of accounts affected could be from India.
“We face constant attacks from people who want to take over accounts or steal information around the world. While I’m glad we found this, fixed the vulnerability, and secured the accounts that may be at risk, the reality is we need to continue developing new tools to prevent this from happening in the first place,” Zuckerberg said.
Revealing that because the investigation into the matter is at an initial stage it is difficult to assess at this stage that whether any account has been misused and who is behind the cyber attacks, said the CEO.
As a security measure, Facebook has invalidated access tokens for the accounts, causing those users to be logged out. Facebook says that it is resetting the security tokens for 90 million affected users.
This means if you are affected you will see that you have been logged out of the Facebook app, or any other app in which you use Facebook ID. You will also be logged out of the Facebook web page if you have been affected.
Along with the 50 million affected users, Facebook has taken a precautionary step and reset access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” look-up in the last year.
What this basically means is that if you have suddenly found yourself logged out of the Facebook account on phone, or desktop, or an app like Instagram or Snapchat, your account has been affected. It also means that you should now log back into the Facebook account and change your password immediately.
In March, after allegations that Cambridge Analytica has gained access to data of millions of users worldwide and might be using it to run their campaigns, Facebook had suspended the firm from accessing its data.