Facebook had recently been hacked and it affected 50 million users worldwide, Malaysia included.
To those who were unaffected, you might shrug it off and think ‘it’s none of my business’ but hey, the platform that probably got you to reading this article now has more power over you than you know. It’s a security breach of 50 million real people − that is the population size of South Korea already.
While there’s no information on how the stolen data had been used by the hacker, or hackers, but if they decided to use it against the victims, it could potentially be the first digital apocalypse we see in human history. To sum up the whole fiasco, we have put it in a 8-list below:
1. It’s the biggest hack in Facebook history
After running for 14 years starting from his college dorm, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg faced his biggest public security breach last week, as said by The New Yorker. The former mega-breach the social media giant faced was Cambridge Analytica and it only affected about 10 to 87 million users mostly people from the United States, Wired reported.
Although this recent breach, which was realized by the company on Tuesday (Sept 25), was said to have affected 50 million users, an addition of 40 million users who susceptible to the hacking was also received a protective account reset. Thus, making the affected users close to 100 million people.
2. A security loophole in Facebook’s “View As” feature
How the hackers managed to steal data of 50 million people was through Facebook’s “View As” feature, a privacy tool built to let users see how their Facebook profile looks to visitors, including people who they weren’t ‘friends’ with. The feature had been removed temporarily.
According to Wired, this breach was unlike Cambridge Analytica where it used a third-party company duped as a developer to harvest sensitive data of its users. This breach was a direct attack within the social media due to its security loophole which reportedly had been fixed within two days (Sept 27) after the company discovered a spike in usage of “View As” feature.
3. The hack implication is still unknown
As of now, nobody knew how the hijacked data had been used, not even Facebook. The impact of the mysterious attack was yet to be realized, so as who was specifically targeted, the hackers’ motif or had the data already been misused.
Facebook’s vice-president of product management, Guy Rosen, said, “Our investigation is early and it’s hard to determine exactly who was behind this.
“We may never know,” as quoted by Recode. Yes, the hackers might just walk free from this major hack!
4. There’s no way to prevent it then, there’s no way to prevent it in the future
Fortune highlighted that the users had no control of the said tokens, therefore no one could individually prevent that to happen and there’s no way for users to prevent another one in the future if it ever happened again.
A token can be defined as an entity that keeps a session between a browser or app and a server active after an initial login proves a user has the right credentials. They normally expire over some time but much companies decide to let them persist a longer period before asking the user to re-login again.