Facebook Vulnerability
News | 09/29/2018

Another Facebook Rip-Off: 50 Million Users’ Accounts Hacked

About: 50 million user accounts were hacked as result of the security vulnerability exploited by hackers on Facebook. The bug allowed hackers to obtain account access tokens that are used to keep users logged. Let us read more to know about the vulnerabilit...  Read More  

| News | Another Facebook Rip-Off: 50 Million Users’ Accounts Hacked

Facebook Vulnerability : 50 Million Users’ Facebook Account Hacked

 

The Social Media World is ruled by FaceBook! This Social media giant  is not just a platform but a lifestyle. For millions of people, Facebook has become the synonym for internet. To get online on Facebook is their daily ritual and they follow it with great determination to connect with friends and family.Facebook Vulnerability

Since the Launch of Facebook on February 4 2004, this social media platform managed to touch the hearts of more than 2.2 billion people. This unprecedented growth has made this online social communication platform a powerful global network.

All this popularity has made Facebook a prominent target in cyber crime world. In recent years, the company has faced intense issues of all sorts. This includes problems pertaining to:

  1. Fake news, Instigating speeches, Political influence campaigns.
  2. Guilty of not protecting user information after the Cambridge Analytica broke etc.

Facebook is already attempting to counteract these issues. These never ending problems seem to pile up against the shine of Facebook. The latest menace being:

50 million people facebook accounts hacked  became victim of data embezzlement as revealed by Facebook on 28th September 2018.

Security vulnerability on Facebook’s ‘View As’ feature allowed threat actors to access user’s account.

Facebook Vulnerability – What is View As Tool?

A ‘View As’ is a feature in Facebook that allows users to see how their own profile looks like to someone else. This is a privacy feature that allows people to cross-check whether certain posts that they want to hide from someone can actually view it on their profile or not. For instance, you want to hide some video or post from your brother (Mike). To check if the changes to the settings worked, you can use ‘View As’ to view your profile as if you were Mike.

The vulnerabilities in the Facebook’s View As tool have existed since July 2017.

What are the vulnerabilities in the View As Feature and how were they exploited?

The threat actors exploited the vulnerabilities in FaceBook’s View as Feature to gain access to steal Facebook’s Access Tokens.Facebook Vulnerability

Access tokens are a sort of digital keys that is created by Facebook once a user logs in to their facebook accounts hacked. These token enable users to remain logged in Facebook accounts hacked so that they do not have to renter their passwords every time they open Facebook standalone app or inside a browser. It is valid till a limited period of time.

Cyber maniacs stole these access tokens to gain access to user accounts.

The vulnerabilities in the View As feature that led to the misappropriation of Access token include:

  1. When the user profile is viewed in View As mode, a video upload feature was displayed on user’s profile page. The video upload feature is not expected on user’s profile when accessed via View As.
  2. The Video Upload feature in the View As mode wrongly triggered the generation of Access Token.
  3. This access Token was generated not for the user who views his profile in the View As mode, but for the person who they were pretending to be.

This essentially gave the user using the View As feature access to the account of the person they were simulating.

Those who discovered this Facebook vulnerability could easily misuse it to gain Access Tokens to other people’s account.

Around 50 million user facebook accounts hacked have fallen prey to this Facebook vulnerability, however, the way the victims’ accounts have been misused is still not known.

Remedial Steps taken by Facebook

  1. Facebook immediately turned OFF its View As feature when the vulnerability was discovered.
  2. The tech Giant fixed and reset the security tokens for affected accounts. As a result the affected users will now have to login to their account again or the apps that uses Facebook Login.

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