Facebook data breach affects millions of user accounts around the world.
| NEWS UPDATE

In a statement on Friday, Facebook said the recent security data breach affected 30 million users. The new figure is approximately 20 million less than the numbers first announced last month.

Among the 30 million users impacted, 14 million had their personal information exposed. Details included; names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as sensitive information such as their gender and relationship status.  Another 15 million users had their names and contact information breached, and a further 1 million users had their access tokens stolen. Facebook has since reset the access tokens for those users.

The social networking platform has published a website, where users can check whether their accounts were affected by the breach.

FBI Investigates Facebook data breach

It is understood that the security breach is being investigated by the FBI. The Bureau has asked Facebook “not to discuss who may be behind this attack.”

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management said:

We are still looking at other ways the people behind these attacks may have used Facebook, and we haven’t ruled out the possibility of smaller scale, low-level access attempts,

Rosen added that the company had also notified the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Irish Data Protection Commission.

The company said the cyber attack began on 14 September, but was not detected until 11 days later. The company fixed the vulnerabilities within two days, halted the attack and reset affected users’ access tokens. “Those impacted users will receive a note from Facebook on the service in the coming days notifying them of the attack”, said Rosen.

The Facebook security breach was discovered and disclosed late last month. At the time the company said the attack affected 50 million accounts, with 40 million more deemed as “at-risk.” That number was reduced to 30 million, according to a blog post published by the company.

During 2018, Facebook has been addressing several issues affecting the health of its service. For example, on Thursday, the company announced its decision to remove 559 Pages and 251 accounts which “broke the company’s spam policies”.

The price of shares in Facebook fell to $151.30 per share following Friday’s announcement.

ICO Deputy Commissioner of operations, James Dipple-Johnstone, said:

It’s always the company’s responsibility to identify when UK citizens have been affected as part of a data breach and take steps to reduce any harm to consumers.
We will be making enquiries with Facebook and our overseas counterparts to establish the scale of the breach and if any UK citizens have been affected.

Sources & credits: CNBC, Reuters, Information Commissioner’s Office

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