Home News Science&Tech Largest Facebook hack attributed to spammers

Largest Facebook hack attributed to spammers

4 min read

The attack by which hackers gained access to data from 30 million Facebook users is unforeseen consequences of spammers activity. The backdoor was accidentally discovered and only later used by hackers. Initially it would be a group that wants to earn some income through misleading advertisements. That’s what researchers think of the latest security breach of the largest social network.

It would be a group that is active on Facebook and Instagram and presents itself as a digital marketing agency. The Facebook security team would have put the spammers on the radar for some time.

First information about perpetrators

It is the first time that something comes out about the origin of the hack. Facebook has not said anything about the perpetrators so far. It was taken into account that a ‘usual suspects’ country is behind the hack, for example Russia or North Korea. Based on the initial findings, the researchers exclude that now.

At the hack, the attackers received the so-called access tokens of 30 million users due to the security flaw of the Facebook software. This allowed hackers to gain access to the accounts.

What could the hackers see?

The hackers had access to a series of personal data obtained from about 14 million user accounts. This concerns the telephone number, the e-mail address, the user name, the gender, the language set, relationship status, religion, place of birth, place of residence, education, the device with which you log in on Facebook, work, the ten last places where someone has checked in or is tagged, the website (as a user who had mentioned on the platform), people and pages that someone follows and the fifteen most recent search queries.

With 15 million other users, the hackers only obtained the names, phone numbers and / or e-mail address. No account was taken of the remaining 1 million users. Users can check whether they have been affected via this link.

In addition to Facebook, the FBI and the privacy watchdog in Ireland, where the company’s international headquarters is located, also investigate the case.

The watchdog reported to business channel CNBC earlier this week that not 5 million but 3 million European users have been hit by the hack. Europeans already filled a billion-dollar lawsuit according to the GDPR law.

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