Private Messages of 120 Million Facebook Users Hacked: Report

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Facebook is in the news again, unfortunately it’s not good news. Hackers have yet gained access to private messages of nearly 120 million Facebook accounts and already published such messages from 81,000 accounts for generating money, the BBC reported.

Several users whose details have been compromised by the hack were based in Ukraine and Russia, but some were also from the US, UK, Brazil and elsewhere, the report said on Friday. “The hackers offered to sell access to these private messages for 10 cents per account. Although their advert has since been taken offline,” the report added.

The breach was first revealed in September, and the messages were reportedly obtained through unharmed rouge browser extensions. Facebook has given a statement saying its systems were not breached as part of the hack. “We have contacted browser-makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores,” Guy Rose, Vice President of Product Management at Facebook, quoted in a statement.

“We have however contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed the information from Facebook accounts.” though the BBC Russian Service contacted five users that are based in Russia whose private messages had been uploaded and confirmed the posts were theirs.

“One example included photographs of a recent holiday, another was a chat about a recent Depeche Mode (British rock band) concert, and a third one included complaints about a son-in-law,” the report said.

In the biggest-ever security breach after Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook in October admitted that hackers broke into nearly 50 million users accounts by stealing their ‘access tokens’ or digital keys. A report also said that Facebook has fixed the vulnerability and reset the access tokens for a total of 90 million of its users account where 50 million that had access tokens stolen and 40 million that were subject to a ‘View As’ look-up in 2017.

However, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is tech giant’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, has opened a formal investigation into this recent data breach that could result in a fine of $1.63 billion.