Spammers, not a nation state, behind Facebook data breach, report says

Facebook tentatively concludes spammers were behind recent data...

The hacker stole personal information of 29 million Facebook users.

The issue of data breach on its platform was first disclosed by Facebook in late September and it had said that the issue has been fixed soon after the discovery by the company on September 25.

The social network us Facebook think that mass piracy of data recently revealed, was orchestrated by "spammers" and not by a country for political purposes, says the "Wall Street Journal" on Tuesday. "The FBI is actively investigating and have asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack", VP Guy Rosen told journalists last week.

The hackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities in Facebook's code to get their hands on "access tokens" - essentially digital keys that give them full access to compromised users' accounts - and then scraped users' data.

Credit: Chinnapong/ShutterstockFacebook originally estimated that up to 50 million people were affected by an attack on the site announced on September 28 and shrank that number down to 30 million a few weeks later.

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The Journal went into further details of the attack by citing people familiar with the internal investigation of the company and said that the people behind the move were in fact a group of Facebook and Instagram spammers that pretend to themselves to be a digital marketing company, and their activities were not veiled from the Facebook security team. 15 million users had their name and contact details accessed while other details such as gender, language, relationship status, and religion were retrieved for 14 million.

The perpetrators only accessed a "limited subset of the data" that could have been harvested, according to the report, with contact details such as email addresses and phone numbers being the priority. Hackers have taken advantage of the conjunction of several bugs dating back to July 2017 and nestled in the feature " View as", which allows you to view what looks like his own profile when he is seen by another user.

Facebook declined to confirm if the hack was caused by spammers.

On Friday, the social-networking firm revealed more details about the attack - and said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had asked it not to reveal who might be behind it.

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