Facebook says target of sophisticated hacking attack

Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:35am IST

A women works with her computer which displays Facebook logos on the screen in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

A women works with her computer which displays Facebook logos on the screen in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, January 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Regis Duvignau

Stocks

   

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Friday that it been the target of a series of attacks by an unidentified hacker group, but it had found no evidence that user data was compromised.

"Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack," the company said in a blog post posted on Friday afternoon, just before the three-day Presidents Day weekend. "The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised."

The social network, which says it has more than one billion active users worldwide, also said: "Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well."

Facebook's announcement follows recent cyber attacks on other prominent websites. Twitter, the microblogging social network, said earlier 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 those of The New York Times (NYT.N), The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have said they have also been infiltrated. Those attacks were attributed by the news organizations to Chinese hackers targeting their coverage of China.

While Facebook said that no user data was compromised, the incident could raise consumer concerns about privacy and the vulnerability of personal information stored within the social network.

Facebook has experienced several privacy missteps over the years for the way it handles user data, and settled a privacy investigation with federal regulators in 2011.

Facebook said it spotted a suspicious file and traced it back to an employee's laptop. After conducting a forensic examination of the laptop, Facebook said it identified a malicious file, then searched company-wide and identified "several other compromised employee laptops."

The company also said it identified a previously unseen exploit to bypass its built-in cyberdefenses, and that new protections were added on February 1. (Reporting by Tim Reid; editing by Gary Hill, G Crosse)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Public Health

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Cost Cutting

Cost Cutting

PM Narendra Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin  Full Article 

Airtel Profit Jumps

Airtel Profit Jumps

Bharti Q2 net profit more than doubles   Full Article 

Leisure Riding

Leisure Riding

Harley-Davidson woos affluent young Indians with bike culture  Full Article 

Maruti Earnings

Maruti Earnings

Maruti Suzuki net profit up 29 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

ICICI Results

ICICI Results

ICICI Bank Q2 profit up 15 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

Moody's on India

Moody's on India

Moody's welcomes India's policy steps, but wants to see more.  Full Article 

End Of QE

End Of QE

U.S. Fed ends bond buying, exhibits confidence in U.S. recovery.  Full Article 

Cook Comes Out

Cook Comes Out

Apple's Cook: "I'm proud to be gay"  Full Article 

Refining Margins

Refining Margins

BPCL aims to double refining margins with refinery expansion.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage