Here comes the biggest news of 2018. The social media giant Facebook faces the worst data breach. More than 50 million Facebook accounts revealed. The hack was officially reported by Facebook’s news blog on 25th September 2018. Facebook reported on its news blog:
“On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts. We’re taking this incredibly seriously and wanted to let everyone know what’s happened and the immediate action we’ve taken to protect people’s security.”
The tech giant further told about the investigations. They clearly said that the attackers used the “View As” feature of Facebook profile options. They used this feature to get the access token of facebook. And exploiting the Facebook codes from there. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.
The company has fixed the vulnerability and recovered all hacked assets. They also state that access tokens are changed now. Discussing the issue on their blog, Facebook stated that they have reset the access tokens of the almost 50 million accounts; “We know were affected to protect their security. We’re also taking the precautionary step of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” look-up in the last year. As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back into Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook Login. After they have logged back in, people will get a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened.”
Facebook has temporarily disabled the “View As” feature. This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in Facebook’s code. The attackers not only needed to find this vulnerability and use it to get an access token, they then had to pivot from that account to others to steal more tokens.
Well, this attack has once again proved that nothing is secure. Every new security comes with new vulnerabilities. Like who expected a code execution in Facebook? But every security is breachable. Here is the small review from Salman Talks.