Facebook hit with class-action lawsuit after massive security breach

Facebook-Security Breach

A new data breach of Facebook has affected almost 50 million of its users.

Hitesh Kargathra, lead security consultant at Falanx Group, said organisations are being judged less on whether they have suffered a data breach and more on how these breaches are handled.

For the owners of the affected accounts, and of another 40 million that Facebook considered at risk, the first order of business may be a simple one: sign back into the app. Facebook logged everyone out of all 90 million accounts in order to reset digital keys the hackers had stolen - keys normally used to keep users logged in, but which could also give outsiders full control of the compromised accounts.

Interestingly enough, two notable people have been impacted by the hack: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Facebook has since solved the vulnerability, but it doesn't yet have answers to crucial questions.

Facebook said there is no need for users to change their passwords. Am I affected too?

The issue arose when attackers exploited a vulnerability in the social network's code for "View As" - a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else.

Due to the hack, Facebook has already reset these access tokens.

Facebook has not said whether the attackers attempted to extract data from the affected profiles, but vice president of product management Guy Rosen told reporters they had attempted to harvest private information from Facebook's systems, according to the New York Times.

The CEO admitted that "View As" feature in Facebook, which had some malfunction, must have played the spoilsport role.

The bug allowed hackers to generate access tokens for absolutely anyone on the website.

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You may have noticed that when you log into your Facebook account once, a security key (access token) is generated, which helps the app to login to the user's account next time without a password.

It remains unclear whether the attackers could have gained access to the most sensitive information stored on the network like direct messages.

In a press release on Friday, Facebook announced that a security breach has resulted in data being leaked for 50 million users.

What is the security token?

Experts say the impact could be far-reaching because beyond Facebook, hackers could have accessed any account logged into using Facebook.

When did this breach occur?

A Tinder spokesperson pointed out that most of its new users sign up to the service without using a Facebook login. The prospect of hackers taking control of nearly 50 million Facebook accounts may undermine those assertions.

In theory Facebook could be fined if it is found to be in breach of GDPR, Europe's data protection rules.

In 2011 it signed a consent decree with USA consumer protection agency the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settling charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then allowing it to be shared and made public.

The hackers were also given complete access (as if they were you, effectively), and so could have accessed any part of your accounts.

Facebook could also face major fines in the European Union for their latest security breach. Simply put, you can log out or initiate a security audit on your device and account.

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