Attacks/Breaches

9/28/2018
02:06 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Facebook Hacked, 50 Million Users Affected

A vulnerability in Facebook's "View As" feature let attackers steal security tokens linked to 50 million accounts, the company confirms.

Facebook today confirmed a major security breach affecting nearly 50 million people, whose accounts were compromised when a vulnerability let hackers steal security tokens linked to their profiles.

The flaw was in Facebook's "View As" feature, which lets account holders see what their profile looks like to someone else – a friend, the public, etc. Attackers could exploit the bug to steal Facebook access tokens, which can be used to take over accounts. Tokens act as "digital keys" to keep people logged in so they don't have to enter a password every time they use the app.

Facebook has fixed the vulnerability, alerted law enforcement to the breach, and temporarily disabled the "View As" feature while it investigates the problem.

While the investigation is still ongoing, Facebook has confirmed the attack stemmed from a change it made to a video uploading feature in July 2017, which affected the "View As" feature. Attackers needed to find the bug, use it to steal an access token, then pivot from their target account to other accounts in order to steal more of these tokens.

There is no need for anyone to change their passwords, says Guy Rosen, VP of product management, in a blog post on the disclosure. Facebook has also reset the security tokens for the 50 million affected accounts, as well as 40 million additional accounts which have been viewed using the "View As" feature within the past year.

In total, about 90 million of Facebook's two billion users will have to log back into their accounts today, as well as any apps accessed via Facebook Login. When they do, they'll see a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened.

Rosen states if Facebook discovers more affected accounts, it will immediately reset access tokens. For anyone taking the precautionary step of logging out of Facebook, the site's Security and Login section lets you see where you're logged in and lets you log out of all devices at once.

Facebook, still early in its analysis, says it does not know who might be behind this attack or where the actor(s) could be based. Today's news has left some industry experts concerned about why the vulnerability wasn't detected sooner.

"It's surprising to me that as popular as Facebook is, no white hat hacker ever discovered and reported this flaw in the past, neither an external pen tester nor Facebook's internal IT security team," says Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate with Comparitech. "I would be interested to know how long this flaw existed before it was discovered and exploited."

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
10/5/2018 | 3:15:23 PM
Re: OMG What bout Insta
If Incrediboy's account was hacked - Zuckerberg - it would almost be worth it. 
colad1930
50%
50%
colad1930,
User Rank: Strategist
9/28/2018 | 10:12:09 PM
OMG What bout Insta
I have stopped using FB and I am addicted to their Ista. But I am now also worried about Insta security. Is Insta also vulnerable?
Higher Education: 15 Books to Help Cybersecurity Pros Be Better
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
'PowerSnitch' Hacks Androids via Power Banks
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/8/2018
Worst Password Blunders of 2018 Hit Organizations East and West
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: camera, camera everywhere, not a single news to rely on
Current Issue
10 Best Practices That Could Reshape Your IT Security Department
This Dark Reading Tech Digest, explores ten best practices that could reshape IT security departments.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-14623
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
A SQL injection flaw was found in katello's errata-related API. An authenticated remote attacker can craft input data to force a malformed SQL query to the backend database, which will leak internal IDs. This is issue is related to an incomplete fix for CVE-2016-3072. Version 3.10 and older is vulne...
CVE-2018-18093
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
Improper file permissions in the installer for Intel VTune Amplifier 2018 Update 3 and before may allow unprivileged user to potentially gain privileged access via local access.
CVE-2018-18096
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
Improper memory handling in Intel QuickAssist Technology for Linux (all versions) may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable a denial of service via local access.
CVE-2018-18097
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
Improper directory permissions in Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox before 3.5.7 may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
CVE-2018-3704
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
Improper directory permissions in the installer for the Intel Parallel Studio before 2019 Gold may allow authenticated users to potentially enable an escalation of privilege via local access.