Ireland's Data Protection Commission, which is Facebook's lead privacy regulator in Europe, said Saturday that it has demanded more information from the company about the nature and scale of the breach, including which European Union residents might be affected. Facebook has informed law enforcement agencies in the United States about the hack and are now investigating it.
According to Facebook, the hackers exploited three bugs in this feature, using its weaknesses to breach the privacy of accounts. The DPC acknowledged Facebook did inform them of the breach but said that the report lacked "detail". That access let the intruder act like users on their profiles, or on any applications where they signed in using Facebook. If you found yourself logged out of Facebook on the 25 September, chances are you could be one of the 50 million who had their accounts compromised.
In a call with reporters, Zuckerberg said that the company doesn't know yet if any of the accounts that were hacked were misused.
"No matter how good an organisation's response is to a personal data breach, it is what went before that will count against it", he said. Both allege that Facebook's lack of proper security has exposed them and additional potential class members to a significantly increased chance of identity theft as a result of the breach.
There's a risk millions of Facebook users have had sensitive information compromised.
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"I won't be putting any information that I don't want people to see social media", Fernandez said.
This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in the code. While the hacker might not have access to the account's password, he is able to see all photos, read any conversations one might have had via the Facebook messenger, and also login to any apps which used Facebook login.
This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people's accounts, the company said, explaining that access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they do not need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.
This feature enables users to preview what their profiles look like when other users view their profiles.
Either way, it will now be harder for the public to believe the company has made progress since CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged in April US congressional hearings to protect user data above all else and invest more in security. The data transfer also happened several years earlier, and Facebook had scrapped ties with developers that allowed it to happen.
Just months ago, Zuckerberg found himself in the midst of yet another controversy when he discounted the words of an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier on his platform - even though Facebook has often taken harsh stances against hate speech aimed at Muslims and the LGBT community.