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Facebook breach resulted in theft of names, contact info of 29 million users

Crazily enough, the FBI won't permit Facebook to say who might be behind the attack.

Published onOctober 12, 2018

The Facebook logo.
  • The recent Facebook breach resulted in data theft related to 30 million accounts.
  • Of those 30 million, 29 million had names and emails stolen. Of those, 14 million included very specific data (birthdays, employment, etc.).
  • According to Facebook, the FBI requested the company to not disclose who might be behind the attack.

Two weeks ago, Facebook revealed its discovery that it was the victim of a data breach. The hack involved a feature known as “View As,” which enables users to see what their Facebook profile looks like when other users look at it.

Now, Facebook is revealing more data about the breach to give users (and the media, naturally) a better idea of what happened and how much it affects Facebook users.

According to Facebook, the numbers break down like this:

  • 30 million users total were hacked. This is lower than the original estimate, which was 50 million.
  • Of those 30 million, the hackers stole data from 29 million users. For one million users, their accounts were hacked but no data was stolen.
  • Of the 29 million users with stolen data, attackers accessed two sets of information from 15 million users – name and contact details (phone number, email, or both, depending on what people had on their profiles).
  • The other 14 million users had the same set of data stolen as the previous 15 million, but additionally lost more data, such as username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or Pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches.

While that information may seem innocuous since it doesn’t include things like payment information, private chats within Facebook Messenger, photographs, etc., the hackers could still likely profit immensely from all that data.

Every little bit of info taken from these 29 million users could potentially be used to impersonate someone and commit acts of fraud.
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Facebook stock photo 6

Even the email addresses could be sold for a hefty profit to spammers.

According to Facebook, the company has an idea of who committed the hack. However, the FBI requested the company keep the lid on that information. In the company’s statement, it said, “we’re cooperating with the FBI, which is actively investigating and asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack.”

Facebook says it will directly contact the 30 million users affected by this breach “to explain what information the attackers might have accessed, as well as steps they can take to help protect themselves, including from suspicious emails, text messages, or calls.” If you were a part of the breach, you’ll likely hear about it soon.

What do you think? Are you going to move past this, or does this mark the end of your time on Facebook? Or are you already gone? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: How to update your Facebook privacy settings

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