February 17, 2013
Facebook Officials Reveal That The Social Network Was Hacked
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online
Facebook was the target of a “sophisticated attack” by hackers, but there is no evidence any sensitive information belonging to the website´s approximately one billion users was compromised, officials from the social network´s security team revealed on Friday.
“Last month, Facebook Security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,” officials with the California-based company explained in a blog post.
According to BBC News, the attack occurred when a small number of Facebook employees visited the website of a mobile developer -- a website which had already been compromised.
Those employees´ laptops were then infected with malware, and as soon as they discovered the viruses, the company took steps to correct the issue, contact law enforcement, and launch their own investigation into the matter, Ben Quinn of The Guardian said.
Facebook said there is no proof to suggest any private information was accessed during the attack. They also added they were not the only firm targeted, but that they were the first to detect the breach and they are now working with the other companies victimized by the hackers to learn more about the attacks.
“The PCs were infected even though they were supposed to be protected by the latest anti-virus software and were equipped with other up-to-date protection,” reported AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke. He added the social network “linked part of the problem to a security hole in the Java software that triggered a safety alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last month.”
At that time, Homeland Security officials advised computer users to disable the Oracle-developed software on their computers due to an exploit that could be utilized by hackers. Since then, Oracle has released a new security update they claim fixes the issue -- an update Facebook said they received two weeks ago, according to Liedtke.
“Facebook's announcement follows recent cyber attacks on other prominent websites,” Reuters reporter Tim Reid wrote on Saturday. “Twitter, the microblogging social network, said this month that it had been hacked, and that approximately 250,000 user accounts were potentially compromised, with attackers gaining access to information including user names and email addresses.
“Newspaper websites including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal have also been infiltrated, according to the news organizations,” Reid added. “Those attacks were attributed by the news organizations to Chinese hackers targeting their coverage of China.”