User accounts accessed by attackers due to flaw in “view as” feature

Synopsis

In September 2018, the social media company admitted to a serious vulnerability (which was described as a flaw in Facebook’s “view as” feature) that allowed hackers to gain access to accounts and even third-party apps that used Facebook for login to gain unauthorised access to millions of accounts, initially it was stated that 50 million accounts were affected. Access tokens for 30 million accounts were stolen by hackers, who accessed contact information (name and email id/ phone number) for 14 million accounts and additional information was accessed for another 15 million accounts including gender, religion, location and device information.

Within a month, the company had disclosed that another 40 million user accounts were deemed at risk from the security flaw before steps were taken to protect them. The company said it reset the access tokens of the 50 million accounts affected by the attack and took a "precautionary step" of resetting tokens for the other 40 million accounts.

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Analyst

Courtenay Brammar

Experienced global enterprise risk and governance professional. Previously Vice President at Morgan Stanley, Deloitte Risk Advisory practitioner and PRMIA steering committee member in both London and New York.

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Companies

  • Facebook, Inc.

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