Looking At the Damage Done By Facebook’s Newest Hack

Facebook breach Monday more serious than one five or ten years ago.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images )

On Friday, Facebook announced its largest security breach in the company’s 14-year history, in which an unknown hacker, or hackers, acquired the power to log in to almost fifty million accounts.

This is the first known instance in Facebook’s history of hackers stealing millions of “access tokens,” which are the keys that allow them to take over an account, including information that users bar from the public, reports The New Yorker. 

The result is that hackers could gain control of accounts on many other sites, like Spotify, because users often log into them with Facebook credentials.

Much about the nature of the hack is still a mystery. The company claims the breach did not include credit-card data, but there is no information on who was targeted, the full impact, the motive, and whether the data in the accounts was misused.

This hack is just the latest in nearly two years of controversy at Facebook, including the spread of “fake news” and Russian propaganda during the 2016 election as well as the platform’s role as a catalyst of violence in places like Myanmar, Sri Lanka and other countries.

The New Yorker writes that the latest breach is likely to heighten calls for regulations and complaints that Facebook is operating as a monopoly. The company’s biggest task in the wake of the latest batch of bad headlines may be stemming a loss of public confidence.

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