Get All Access for $5/mo

Facebook Discloses Hack Affecting 50 Million Accounts The attackers stole Facebook access tokens, which keep you logged in so you don't have to enter your password every time you visit. In total, around 90 million people will have to log back in the next time they try to access the platform.

By Angela Moscaritolo Edited by Dan Bova

This story originally appeared on PCMag

via PC Mag

Facebook on Friday disclosed a security breach affecting nearly 50 million accounts.

The social network discovered the breach on Tuesday and is still investigating the issue, Guy Rosen, VP of product management, wrote in the announcement.

The hackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code impacting the "View As" feature, which lets you see what your profile looks like to the public or a specific individual. For now, Facebook is turning off the "View As" feature while it investigates the incident.

The attackers stole Facebook access tokens -- aka "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," Rosen explained. With your access token, an attacker could take over your account and use it as if they were you.

The flaw that attackers exploited stemmed from a video-uploading feature change Facebook made in July 2017, but it did not elaborate.

Facebook has patched that bug, notified law enforcement about the breach, and reset the access tokens of all impacted accounts. As a precaution, Facebook is resetting the tokens for another 40 million accounts "that have been subject to a 'View As' look-up in the last year." The company said there's no evidence those other 40 million accounts have been compromised.

In total, around 90 million people will have to log back in the next time they try to access the platform. On a call with reporters Friday, Facebook executives said no actual passwords were taken, so a password reset is not necessary. No credit card information was affected, they added.

At this point, many questions remain: "Since we've only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed," Rosen wrote. "We also don't know who's behind these attacks or where they're based."

Angela Moscaritolo has been a PCMag reporter since January 2012. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Making a Change

Invest in a Lifetime of Learning for $100

Skill Success features a wide variety of e-learning courses on business, finance, and more.

Business News

Amazon Is Thinking About Charging Extra for AI Alexa

"Hey Alexa, how much are you going to cost?"

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Leadership

3 Steps to Overcoming Organizational Fear of Change

It's a leader's job to ensure everyone in the company can own their expertise without fear — even when left to their own devices.

Devices

This Car Dash Display Is Only $90 Through June 26

Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this display is designed to make your commute safer.