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Hackers Didn’t Access Any Third-party Apps: Facebook

The privacy watchdog could fine Facebook as much as $1.63 billion for the data breach

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Facebook
Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

Tendering a fresh apology in the data breach that affected 50 million users, Facebook has said that a detailed investigation found no evidence that the hackers accessed any third-party apps using Facebook Login.

In the biggest-ever security breach after Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook last week admitted that hackers broke into nearly 50 million users’ accounts by stealing their “access tokens” or digital keys.

“We have now analysed our logs for all third-party apps installed or logged in during the attack we discovered last week. That investigation has so far found no evidence that the attackers accessed any apps using Facebook Login,” Guy Rosen, Vice President of Product Management at Facebook, said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Rosen said Facebook has fixed the vulnerability and reset the access tokens for a total of 90 million accounts — 50 million that had access tokens stolen and 40 million that were subject to a “View As” look-up in 2017.

Facebook
This Feb. 19, 2014, photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Resetting the access tokens protected the security of people’s accounts and meant they had to log back in to Facebook or any of their apps that use Facebook Login,” the Facebook executive said, adding that “we’re sorry that this attack happened”.

Any developer using official Facebook SDKs — and all those that have regularly checked the validity of their users’ access tokens – were “automatically protected when we reset people’s access tokens”.

“However, out of an abundance of caution, as some developers may not use our SDKs, we’re building a tool to enable developers to manually identify the users of their apps who may have been affected, so that they can log them out,” said Rosen.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The social media giant recommends developers stick to its Login security best practices like using official Facebook SDKs for Android, iOS and JavaScript, using the Graph API to keep information updated regularly and log users out of apps where error codes show that any Facebook session is invalid.

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Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which is Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, has asked Facebook to submit more details in the incident where data of over 50 million users were hacked.

The privacy watchdog could fine Facebook as much as $1.63 billion for the data breach. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook to Launch its Cryptocurrency Next Year: Report

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is gearing up to launch its own cryptocurrency next year, the BBC reported on Friday.

Called “GlobalCoin,” the cryptocurrency would work with a new digital payments system in about a dozen countries starting in the first quarter of 2020.

Facebook has been in contact with US and British financial regulators to launch it.

According to the BBC, Facebook is in touch with “Bank of England governor Mark Carney and officials at the US Treasury”.

With over two billion users across its platforms, Facebook could emulate WeChat in China which allows its users to chat, shop and play games without leaving its platform.

The Facebook cryptocurrency would need to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles before it can be launched.

According to media reports, the Facebook currency could be designed to be a “stablecoin” with a value pegged to US currency in an attempt to minimize volatility.

A report last week said Facebook has reportedly set up a company called Libra Networks in Switzerland that is developing payments and Blockchain systems for the social networking giant.

virtual currencies, bitcoin, investors
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. Wikimedia Commons

According to a report in CNET quoting Swiss publication Handelszeitung, the Facebook cyrptocurrency would be tied to the US dollar and could, therefore, remain stable unlike Bitcoin which has crashed.

“Facebook set up Libra Networks in Geneva several weeks ago. Libra is the social network’s internal project name for the digital currency,” the report said.

The Swiss company would focus on developing the software and hardware for currency-related functions like payments, Blockchain, analytics, big data and identity management.

Facebook declined to comment on the new report.

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According to a report in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, the social media giant is “recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants” towards its cryptocurrency-based system that would use a digital coin similar to Bitcoin.

The New York Times reported in February that Facebook had a team of 50 people working on its virtual currency project.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain in February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps. (IANS)