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Facebook Gets Hacked

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted October 16, 2018

Trust is a hard thing to gain, and it’s even harder to maintain.

However, when we sign up for and log into our favorite social media sites, we trust them with so much personal information. And not only our own personal information, but also information about our family and friends.

And we do this even though for some of us, trust is a very important thing to earn. We don’t go around sharing our personal information with complete strangers.

It takes a lot to earn my trust, for me to feel a sense of security that if I share something with someone, they’ll do everything in their power to protect that information.

Yet I still log into social networking sites like Facebook, my email account, and my Amazon account like it’s nothing. The last thing on my mind is that somehow that information is being compromised. I’m just going to those sites to find some entertainment or to purchase something I decided I needed.

Usually, I don’t think about the type of information I’m allowing Facebook to keep, believing that information won’t ever be harmed. Despite some potential risks from Facebook, I’ve still trusted the site. Not everyone is perfect, I’ve thought. I’ll just have to do my best to assist in protecting my information from potential hackers or attacks.

Well, it’s happened again. Facebook got hacked, and at least 30 million accounts have been compromised.

Can you still trust them?

Facebook Gets Hacked

A massive attack on Facebook surfaced last week. The hack could have impacted at least 30 million people and their Facebook accounts.

This past Friday, Facebook announced that a hack it detected could be a lot bigger than it originally thought. Facebook learned that personal information, including details about users' recent locations, phone numbers, and search histories, was taken by unidentified hackers.

In a blog post on Friday, Facebook said:

For 15 million people, attackers accessed two sets of information - name and contact details (phone number, email, or both, depending on what people had on their profiles). For 14 million people, the attackers accessed the same two sets of information, as well as other details people had on their profiles.

There are a lot of details people can add to their Facebook profiles, including like their birthday, where they went to school, who they’re in a relationship with, etc. This is all information that users elect to share with Facebook and probably thought was safe.

Obviously, this announcement was something Facebook wishes it didn’t have to report, but it did. The company would have been risking a lot if it didn't report it.

Being a Facebook user means you agree to use your account with other third-party apps, which could put the information you share with those apps at risk, too. However, in this instance, Facebook assured the public that the hack didn’t affect any data in the company’s related services, including Messenger, Messenger Kids, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and developer accounts.

If you were one of the unfortunate accounts that was hacked, this is the information these hackers had access to: username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birth date, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places you checked into or were tagged in, websites, people, or pages you follow, and the 15 most recent searches you made.

That’s a lot of information now at the disposal of these hackers.

The Aftermath

All this comes two weeks after an investigation that was taking place about the hack. Facebook mentioned that the hackers had taken advantage of three vulnerabilities in the “View As” feature on its site, which allows users to view their profile from other users’ perspectives.

Apparently the flaw was present since July 2017, but it wasn’t until September 14th that Facebook noticed suspicious activity. After discovering that suspicious activity, the company noticed the bugs and the attack those bugs created on September 25th.

Facebook’s vice president of product management, Guy Rosen, had this to say this past Friday:

With these access tokens an attacker could get into people’s accounts. We’re looking at approaches that could address this class of problem and, ensuring that we can catch them faster and minimize their impact.

The company says it hasn’t witnessed any evidence of stolen data because of this hack, which gives it more confidence in getting a deeper look at the data that was taken and the users that were affected. Facebook will continue to investigate the attack to identify any other abuse of the platform.

Any kind of attack or hack is significant to any platform, especially a social networking platform like Facebook that retains millions of users’ personal information... information a user might not even recognize as being compromised.

Again, we put a lot of trust in companies like Facebook. We trust them with copious amounts of our personal information, and we trust that they’ll inform us of all the details about any type of hack. Could you be the next victim?

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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