Facebook says hackers in September stole personal data of 29 million users

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Facebook has said 30 million accounts were compromised in a major hack. But beyond learning what information the attackers accessed, there's relatively little that users can do - beyond, that is, watching out for suspicious emails or texts.

Rosen says the attackers did not access any credit card information associated with members' accounts, and that the company has not received any reports of stolen information being available on the dark web - portions of the internet requiring special software to reach.

Most of the other affected users had their names and contact details accessed.

The social media giant, which has more than two billion users worldwide, announced last month that engineers had discovered a "security issue" which affected 50 million accounts.

Through a series of interrelated bugs in Facebook's programming, unnamed attackers stole the names and contact information of 15 million users, Facebook said.

The exposure of those kinds of personal details can be particularly unsafe to people who are trying keep a low profile, such as those who have been the victims of domestic abuse or protestors anxious about reprisals from their governments.

On Friday, the company revealed that stolen data on 14 million users included birth dates, employers, education and lists of friends.

In the days since, Facebook has scrambled to figure out how things went wrong, who could be responsible for the attack and what the attackers planned to do with the information.

But it's not just online accounts that are at risk.

What kind of information has been compromised?

"The truth is that, as a result of this news, millions of phishing attacks will now be launched, pretending to be from Facebook". "Potentially, there's some real damage that can be done to people".

The hackers used an automated program to move from account to account and harvest the data quickly.

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Security researchers have known for years, though, that the SMS system is vulnerable to hacking attacks.

The exact number hadn't been known before.

Another potential danger comes from spear-phishing attacks.

To find out whether your personal data was accessed by the attackers, click on this link.

The stolen data could be used to target phishing mails etc to you knowing your preferences.

Despite Friday's announcement, there are still many details about the hack that have not been made public, including who was behind it and if the attackers were targeting particular users or countries. It also did not impact users on other Facebook properties such as Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Oculus.

An attacker may use that information to conduct sophisticated "phishing attacks", a method used to get into financial accounts, health records or other important personal databases, Falkowitz said.

"These guys are really crafty", she said.

Facebook users are also able to check whether they were victim of the intrusion by going to Facebook's help pages.

You can check whether you were affected by visiting Facebook's Help Center and scrolling down to the bottom, where you'll see a notice like this, which will indicate whether you were or weren't hacked.

"These companies have a staggering amount of information about Americans".

If you see anything different, at least you'll know that there's something to be concerned about.

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