Facebook Says Breach Affected About 50 Million Accounts

As widely reported, the mid-September Facebook data breach may have affected nearly 50 million accounts. Bloomberg.com refers to it as “the latest in a series of missteps that are undermining confidence in the company’s social network and business model.”

In a statement, Facebook said it has fixed the breach, which had let hackers take over accounts. The accounts of Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were among those targeted by the hack, according to Bloomberg.

Because of user data leaks, security breaches, and the spread of misinformation, Facebook has had to confront hostile congressional hearings and feedback from users. This latest breach adds to concerns the company is collecting too much personal information and not securing it adequately. According to the Bloomberg article, “Data is the lifeblood of Facebook’s advertising business, so any limits on its activities that stem from these missteps could crimp the company’s earning power.”

The hackers exploited a loophole in Facebook’s code for the “View As” feature and then stole access tokens – the digital keys that keep users logged into Facebook, so they don’t need to re-enter passwords.

In its statement, Facebook said it doesn’t know if any personal information was gathered or misused from those accounts.

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