For those of you who think that your Facebook profiles are safe, you might be in for a very big shock today as Mark Zuckerberg, the famous person behind Facebook which is the world’s largest social media platform by a distance, just updated his status on his official Facebook Profile saying that an attacker apparently exploited a vulnerability in the social media giant’s security system!
This allowed the hacker to steal access tokens to a whopping 50 million user profiles!
Apparently, this security vulnerability was related to Facebook’s “View As” Feature, in which users can view their own Facebook profiles as they would appear to someone else in either their Friend list or outside it!
Here is the full manuscript of this status which is sure to rock the data privacy world in the upcoming days:
“I want to update you on an important security issue we’ve identified. We patched the issue last night and are taking precautionary measures for those who might have been affected. We’re still investigating, but I want to share what we’ve already found:
On Tuesday, we discovered that an attacker exploited a technical vulnerability to steal access tokens that would allow them to log into about 50 million people’s accounts on Facebook.
We do not yet know whether these accounts were misused but we are continuing to look into this and will update when we learn more.
We’ve already taken a number of steps to address this issue:
1. We patched the security vulnerability to prevent this attacker or any other from being able to steal additional access tokens. And we invalidated the access tokens for the accounts of the 50 million people who were affected – causing them to be logged out. These people will have to log back in to access their accounts again. We will also notify these people in a message on top of their News Feed about what happened when they log back in.
2. As a precautionary measure, even though we believe we’ve fixed the issue, we’re temporarily taking down the feature that had the security vulnerability until we can fully investigate it and make sure there are no other security issues with it. The feature is called “View As” and it’s a privacy tool to let you see how your own profile would look to other people.
3. As an additional precautionary measure, we’re also logging out everyone who used the View As feature since the vulnerability was introduced. This will require another 40 million people or more to log back into their accounts. We do not currently have any evidence that suggests these accounts have been compromised, but we’re taking this step as a precautionary measure.
We face constant attacks from people who want to take over accounts or steal information around the world. While I’m glad we found this, fixed the vulnerability, and secured the accounts that may be at risk, the reality is we need to continue developing new tools to prevent this from happening in the first place. If you’ve forgotten your password or are having trouble logging in, you can access your account through the @Help Center.
There’s more detail in Guy’s post below, and we’ll update you as our investigation continues.”
This status has left the world horrified on just how much data is available there in Facebook’s systems and how possible it is to game the security systems protecting it if you are a good enough hacker.
The status mentions that Facebook has taken steps to prevent any user data from being compromised, but if the hack did happen as testified by Mark Zuckerberg himself, then the hackers did get hold of the whole data agglomeration definitely.
We are following the story and will definitely keep updating you about it.