If you suddenly had to log back into your Facebook account on Friday you may have been one of nearly 50 million people who were impacted by a hack that may have accessed other social media accounts connected to the account.
Facebook revealed on Friday that millions of its user accounts were compromised by a security breach earlier in the week, forcing it to implement further security measures to protect the accounts. Many people were logged out of their accounts on Friday and asked to change their passwords and use further security measures.
Our investigation is still in its early stages. But it’s clear that attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted “View As” a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.
According to Business Insider, the security vulnerability also allowed hackers access to other social media accounts tied to the Facebook account, including Spotify, Instagram, AirBnB and Tinder. Basically, any social media or other third party website that was logged into using Facebook could theoretically be impacted by the release.
Interestingly enough, two notable people have been impacted by the hack: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.