How to check if hackers accessed your account, stole information


- Facebook says hackers accessed a wide swath of information - ranging from emails and phone numbers to more personal details like sites visited and places checked into - from millions of accounts as part of a security breach the company disclosed two weeks ago.

Attackers stole authentication tokens for these 30 million accounts, but they also stole additional data for 29 million, Facebook said. That number has now been reduced to just 30 million, but the amount of data stolen makes it the worst attack in Facebook's history.

Facebook announced Friday that hackers had accessed personal information from about 29 million of its users' accounts.

The attack did not affect Facebook-owned Messenger, Messenger Kids, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Pages, payments, third-party apps or advertising or developer accounts, the company said.

Facebook logged everyone out of all 90 million accounts in order to reset digital keys the hackers had stolen - keys which are normally used to keep users logged in, could have also outsiders full control of the compromised accounts. The latter is less severe, yet still serious, since hackers were only able to access their name and contact details, such as phone number, email or both, depending on what info they had on their profile.

It explained that 50 million people's access tokens are believed to have been affected, and that 30 million of those actually had their tokens stolen.

If your account was accessed, Facebook will list what information the hackers obtained. According to TechCrunch, the company is cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but are not allowed to speculate about who may be behind the attack.

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For the remaining 1 million, Facebook says that no information was compromised.

Using these initial accounts, the attacker used a bug in Facebook's code relating to a the "View As" feature to access the profiles of friends, which it believes existed since July previous year.

Those tokens, which were stolen by taking advantage of three software bugs relating to the platform's View As profile feature, essentially allow an attacker to hijack the Facebook profiles of affected individuals.

"Today's update from Facebook is significant now that it is confirmed that the data of millions of users was taken by the perpetrators of the attack", Ireland's Data Protection Commission said in a statement on Friday.

Facebook identified a spike in the activity of September 14, 2018, which led them to launch an internal investigation.

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.

Facebook's lead European Union data regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, last week opened an investigation into the breach.