Facebook has issued an update and is not one to make any user happy—one that will make millions of users cringe to put it mildly. The social media behemoth announced to its 2 billion users last Tuesday it had suffered a breach on its network. The breach according to Facebook, affected some 50 million accounts—rendering them vulnerable.
“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,” Guy Rosen, VP of Product Management at Facebook said.
Not the first time [especially when it comes to user data], but one that could further help to hasten the decision of millions of users already contemplating whether or not to ditch the social media giant. The company said investigations are still ongoing to unravel the cause of the breach in the code that “impacted “View As” a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else.”
The vulnerability allowed Facebook’s access tokens to be stolen, which could then be used to highjack people’s accounts. In Rosen’s exact words, “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.”
In a tweet on Friday, Facebook alerted users to the issue: If you’ve been logged out of your account and asked to sign back in, it’s because we’ve discovered a security issue and are taking immediate action to protect people on Facebook.
As expected, Facebook said it is already working hard to resolve the issue and informed users of certain measures already being taken. One of the measures already taken by the security team at Facebook is informing law enforcement. , but not before fixing the vulnerability.
The social media giant also went ahead to reset the access tokens of the 50 million accounts suspected to have been affected by the security breach.
As a precaution, the social media giant is also going ahead to reset access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have “been subject to a “View As” look-up in the last year.”
The implication of this is that some 90 million people will now have to log back in to their Facebook account because of the resets, this also includes other third-party apps that rely on Facebook Login. Once they have logged back in, they will receive a notification at the top of their News Feed detailing what went wrong.
Facebook has also temporarily turned off the “View As” feature while it continues with investigations into what may have led to the vulnerability that has affected some 50 million accounts.
Facebook, however offered its apology to users, assuring users of its determination to get at the root of the matter. “People’s privacy and security is incredibly important, and we’re sorry this happened. It’s why we’ve taken immediate action to secure these accounts and let users know what happened.”