Facebook Thinks Spammers Launched Hack of 30 Million Users

Lloyd Doyle
October 20, 2018

Facebook's latest hack had the information of 29 million users scraped, but apparently by scammers wanting financial gain, rather than for political or ideological purposes.

Facebook believes the massive data breach that occurred at the end of September was perpetrated by spammers claiming to run a "digital marketing company", according to anonymous sources talking to the Wall Street Journal.

The social media giant disclosed at the end of last month that it had become victim to a hack, and preemptively reset a total of 90 million accounts.

The Facebook breach that hit the accounts of 30 million users was not, it turns out, the work of an adversarial nation-state like Iran or North Korea.

Quoth the Journal: "Internal researchers now believe that the people behind the attack are a group of Facebook and Instagram spammers that present themselves as a digital marketing company, and whose activities were previously known to Facebook's security team, said the people familiar with the investigation". Although this corroborates the belief that advertisement was the motivation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working alongside Facebook to ensure that there's not a repeat of the United States presidential election, where Russian and Iranian interference was retroactively highlighted across the platform.

This attribution is supported by the attackers' decision to compromise a limited amount of information that was available to them. 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. 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. On the question of exposing the identities of the hackers, Facebook declined to share any details citing Federal Bureau of Investigation directions, which is also investing the case. "The FBI is actively investigating and have asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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