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Facebook has finally clarified that a security issue has been discovered which had affected almost 50 million accounts. The social media giant has also mentioned that the investigation is still in its initial stage, but it said that hackers have exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code that impacted "View As" a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to other users.
"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," reads Facebook newsroom post.
According to Facebook, they have fixed the vulnerability and also informed the law enforcement department to take care of the issue. The company has reset the access token of the almost 50 million accounts which are affected by the security breach.
"We're also taking the precautionary step of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a "View As" look-up in the last year. As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back into Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook Login. After they have logged back in, people will get a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened," reads the Facebook newsroom post.
To be on the safe side Facebook has decided to temporarily turn off the "View As" option and in the meantime, the company will conduct a thorough security review. The company says, "This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in our code. It stemmed from a change we made to our video uploading feature in July 2017, which impacted "View As."
Facebook has just started their investigation and they are yet to determine whether these accounts are misused for gathering information or for some other reasons. The company is working hard to find the hacker behind the attack and understand the details.