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

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

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

Facebook originally estimated that 50 million accounts could have been affected but the company didn't know if they had been compromised.

Of those 30 million, hackers gained access to the names and contact details of 15 million users.

Here's how to check whether your information was compromised, as well as how to delete your Facebook account.

Although Mr Rosen did reveal that while the attackers' intent has not been determined, they did not appear to be motivated by the upcoming United States mid-term Congressional election on November 6.

Facebook said last month that it detected the attack when it noticed an uptick in user activity. The data was as specific as the last 15 people or things they had searched for on Facebook and the last 10 physical locations they had "checked into". And the social network will be sending out personalized messages to those who were affected to explain what information was ascertained by the attackers. Brian Acton, a co-founder of the Facebook-owned smartphone application WhatsApp, has called for people to delete their Facebook accounts. "If a person in this group was a Page admin whose Page had received a message from someone on Facebook, the content of that message was available to the attackers", Rosen said.

Over the past year, Facebook has faced repeated criticism that it hasn't been doing enough to protect the personal information of its more than 2 billion regular users. Colin Bastable, CEO of Lucy Security which focuses on cybersecurity prevention and awareness, painted an especially grim scenario.

If you don't want to lose everything you've put on Facebook, there is an option to download a copy of all your information.

But for a large proportion of those that were affected by the attack, the implications could be great.

By deleting your account, you will remove your personal information from Facebook's servers.

The latest disclosure, another in a series of security lapses that have shaken public confidence in Facebook, may intensify political heat on the company.


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

He declined to discuss progress regarding figuring out who was behind the attack, saying Facebook had been asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to remain quiet on the topic.

Facebook said in a blog post that it now thinks some 30 million users, rather than 50 million, were affected by a recent breach that allowed hackers to steal personal data.

Fortunately, this is pretty easy to find out. Both incidents could further fuel a congressional push for a national privacy law to protect U.S. users of tech company services.

"These companies have a staggering amount of information about Americans". Between the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a number of smaller incidents that followed once Facebook started investigating all third-party apps using its APIs this past spring, as well as the newly disclosed vulnerability, the company is now facing heavy scrutiny over its data management practices. "The cost of inaction is growing and we need answers".

You can delete your account to remove all your info - but it won't actually be gone until after a 30-day "grace period".

In September, the social media company said hackers exploited the "View As" feature on the website.

Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?

On September 25, the trend was identified as an attack, prompting programmers to close the vulnerability, which happened within two days, the tech chief said.

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