On September 16, 2018, Facebook discovered unusual activity via their network analytics equipment — it appeared that computer hackers gained some type of access to a database of approximately 50 million users.
In July of 2017, Facebook introduced a new feature called “view as“, which allowed owners of Facebook accounts to view their profiles the way the public would see them — the data breach occurred through a vulnerability found in the recently added Facebook feature — computer hackers are said to have used Facebook developer software to exploit the vulnerability.
The bottom line is that although the Facebook administration discovered the hacking, the vulnerability in Facebook’s network existed for over a year before they actually discovered it — who knows how the stolen information has been exploited before anyone knew anything about it!
What type of information was stolen?
So far, it’s known that only relatively simple information has been stolen — nothing that will allow criminals to easily steal one’s identity. However, Facebook administration’s assessment is that it’s still very early on in the discovery process and it’s still too early to know exactly what types of data were accessed and how that data might be used in the future.
Until more information is known about the potentials of the data breach, there are a few practical pointers below that will help bring peace of mind while waiting for the experts to learn more.
For starters, the Facebook administration recommends that all its users change their passwords, ASAP.
Furthermore, since computers are now a critical and integral part of society, and since personal data of millions is spread out across several different government websites and other organizations, it’s probably a good idea to purchase some type of identity theft protection and insurance — it needs to be understood that Facebook is only one of many organizations with a potential to lose personal, private computer data to illegal hackers.
It’s recommended by security experts that a minimal type of identity theft protection be purchased regardless of the recent Facebook database breach. Keep in mind that identity theft protection and insurance are relatively inexpensive.
WheelHouse IT specializes in a wide array of security defense systems enabling a proactive approach to security as opposed to a reactive approach. Please contact us for assistance in determining a suitable course of action if there is concern regarding the Facebook database breach.