Facebook: 'View as' feature opened 50M accounts to hackers

According to Facebook a hack affecting 50 million users could also have given attackers access to other apps

MPs have demanded that Mark Zuckerberg travels to the United Kingdom to face questions about his "terrible disrespect" for the data of citizens, following last week's data breach at Facebook that resulted in 50 million user accounts being exposed to hackers.

Almost 50 million Facebook users are victims of a massive security breach.

In addition, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company said it is taking the precautionary measure of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that were "subject to a "View As" look-up in the previous year", bringing the total to 90 million accounts who will now have to log back into the service.

"As a user, I want Facebook to proactively protect my data and let me know when it's compromised", he said.

Facebook has said the attack was highly sophisticated, their response is in its early stages, and they may never know who was behind it.

The attackers then dumped the digital key, which was used for authentication, by performing an attack on the "view as" feature.

The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a year of tumult for the global social technology behemoth.

Facebook has more than two billion users worldwide. It also reset "access tokens" for another 40 million accounts as a precautionary measure. More importantly, this feature protects your account from any attackers, even if they have your password. The "View As" feature has been temporarily suspended as the investigation by Facebook into the hack continues.

It's not clear whether the attackers did this, but the possibility may force companies that rely on Facebook's login system to launch their own investigations.

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"We've identified and removed fake accounts ahead of elections in France, Germany, Alabama, Mexico and Brazil", Zuckerberg said. "It does seem broad".

Facebook does know who it behind the attacks.

In 2011 it signed a consent decree with U.S. consumer protection agency the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settling charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then allowing it to be shared and made public. Jake Williams, a security expert at Rendition Infosec, said he is concerned that the hack could have affected third party applications.

Thousands of websites and apps including Tinder, Spotify, Airbnb and Instagram allow you to register and sign in using Facebook.

In 2015 Facebook makes changes to its privacy policy and prevents third-party apps from accessing the data of users' friends without their consent.

One of the bugs was more than a year old and affected how the "View As" feature interacted with Facebook's video uploading feature for posting "happy birthday" messages. This will require those users to log back in to Facebook.

According to news media, the company has notified the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) about the breach. Then a congressional investigation found that agents from Russian Federation and other countries have been posting fake political ads since at least 2016.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on May 1, 2018 in San Jose, California.

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