Facebook downgrades breach count from 50 million to 30 million users

Hackers accessed data of 29 million Facebook users

Facebook said the FBI is investigating, but asked the company not to discuss who may be behind the attack.

Facebook says 20 million fewer accounts were breached than originally thought in one of the worst security incidents at the giant social network - 30 million instead of 50 million - but attackers made off with sensitive personal information from almost half of those users that could put them at serious risk including phone number and email address, recent searches on Facebook, location history and the types of devices people used to access the service. The other million people didn't have any information stolen.

Facebook scaled its estimate of affected users down to 30 million in an update on Friday, but revealed that attackers had been able to access a wide array of personal details from millions of accounts.

Facebook also stressed that the attack did not affect Messenger, Messenger Kids, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Pages, payments, third-party apps, or advertising or developer accounts.

Rosen said they found no reason yet to believe hackers were in interested in people's information, rather that it appeared the mission was to harvest access tokens from friends associated with breached accounts.

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The hackers stole name and contact details for 29 million users, and took data including birth dates, employers, education and lists of friends from around 14 million users. Of that number, 14 million users had further details exposed, including gender, religion, device types, birthday, last checked-in locations, who and what they follow, and most recent searches. One million accounts were affected but hackers didn't gain information. The social media giant has, however, not clarified if the private messages of affected users too had been breached. As you can see, my account was not accessed.

The security breach comes at a time when Facebook is already under fire data-privacy lapses. Software bugs impacted the "View As" feature in Facebook, which allowed for hackers to access the secure tokens for Facebook accounts, which allows those individuals to take over Facebook accounts as they see fit and access the data therein.

Facebook has said 30 million accounts were compromised in a major hack.

For Facebook users that are concerned that their data isn't safe, there's a way to tell if it was stolen in the massive hack.

"There's not much more that Facebook can do", said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. Or you can click this link while signed into Facebook and scroll down.

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Once they had keys to accounts, hackers had the ability to get into them and control them as though they were the real owner.

"This doesn't sound very targeted at all", he said.

Facebook plans to notify members over the next few days as to what information may have been taken, and alert them to be on the lookout for suspicious emails, text messages, or calls.

This sort of personal detail can help identity thieves accomplish hacks for years into the future.

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