Facebook says hacking attack hit almost 50 million accounts

Some 90 million people will have to individually log into their accounts because the 'View As' feature has been turned off

Facebook said the attack affected nearly 50 million user accounts

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said on Friday it has discovered an attack that exploited a vulnerability in the code, affecting almost 50 million accounts and hit another 40 million people.

"It’s clear that attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted 'View As', a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts," Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice-president of product management, announced in a company blog post.

Access tokens are the equivalent of 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.

Facebook's engineering team discovered the attack on Tuesday, September 25, and the company said they have informed law enforcement.

READ: Facebook Stories hits 300M Daily Active Users and welcomes advertisers to the feature

"We have reset the access tokens of the almost 50 million accounts we know were affected to protect their security. We’re also taking the precautionary step of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a 'View As' look-up in the last year," Rosen said.

"As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back in to Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook Login. After they have logged back in, people will get a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened," he added.

The “View As” feature hit by the attack has also been turned off.

"Since we’ve only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed. We also don’t know who’s behind these attacks or where they’re based. We’re working hard to better understand these details," Rosen explained.

Hundreds of millions of people have accounts in the social media giant. Facebook is based in Menlo Park, California.

Shares of Facebook were down 3.6% to $162.74 by midsession on Friday.

Quick facts: Facebook

Price: $183.70

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $524.09 billion

Add related topics to MyProactive

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events


The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...



Full interview: Arcadia Biosciences makes major progress on its hemp venture...

Arcadia Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RKDA) CEO Raj Ketkar tells Proactive the California-based company expects to “significantly scale revenues in 2020” as it reported financial and business results for the second quarter and first half of 2019. Ketkar says the agricultural innovation company made...

2 days, 17 hours ago

2 min read