Facebook Cyber Attack impacts 110,000 Australians

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Facebook internal documents suggest that more than 110,000 Australians were impacted by a cyber attack launched in September last year on FB servers. The attack is said to have leaked personal info of more than 60,589 users from Australia giving access to details such as their movements, phone number, most recent check-ins, DOB, Education, work history, gender, relationship status, religion, residence location, search history, email address to contact and their shopping activities.

A source reporting from FB headquarters say that the attack has impacted more than 28 million FB users worldwide, out of which 111,813 were Australians. Among them, 60K people’s sensitive data is reported to have reached the hacker which includes their stand on the current political developments which are taking place in Australian regions such as Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania, and Perth.

Highly placed sources say that personal conversations of more than 1600 Facebook Messenger users were also accessed by hackers.

Note- Facebook did not officially reveal this incident which took place in Sept’18 to the world, but accepted its fault in the confidential correspondence with Australian Information Commission (AIC) – the Australian Privacy Watchdog.

The data leak from the email correspondence of Facebook suggests that the social media giant discovered the data breach on Sept 25th, 2018 and identified that hackers made an intrusion into its network on September 14th, 2018.

After taking a review of the situation, the Mark Zuckerberg led company notified the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)’s Principle Director, Amie Grierson on October 7th, 2018 and assured that they will keep the updates posted to her from time to time.

As the data breach did not meet the requirements of the ‘Australia’s notifiable data breach laws’, it decided not to release a media statement on the note last year and dropped down the plan to inform its users on an individual note via email.

On January 3rd, 2019 and on the insistence of OAIC, Facebook decided to contact the individuals in Australia to advise them on the breach.

Facebook has invalidated access tokens to almost 90 million accounts to nullify the impact of the breach and believed that the cyber incident could have impacted over 50 million people on a worldwide note.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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