Facebook to strengthen security protocols following the hacking of 29 million user accounts in 2018

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 10, 2020

File photo   -  Bloomberg

Facebook Inc on Saturday vowed to improve security protocols in a bid to resolve a lawsuit filed against the company for a 2018 security breach, according to a Bloomberg report.

The breach led to more than 29 million user accounts being hacked. The breach occurred as part of a vulnerability in Facebook’s software where attackers were able to gain login access to user accounts.

Facebook has pledged to check unusual patterns of user activity more frequently. This would involve the monitoring of user activity which involves access tokens for user accounts among other measures, the report said.

This is not the first time that the company has been under the scanner for its security practices and privacy concerns of users.

According to a report from Comparitech and security researcher Bob Diachenko, the data of over 267 million Facebook users were allegedly exposed online during a security breach in 2019. The data included their user IDs, name and phone number, Engadget had reported.

The company was involved in another lawsuit concerning the privacy of biometric data in regard to Facebook’s auto-tagging feature which utilizes facial recognition. The plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit against the tech giant under ‘the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008. The company had recently agreed to settle the suit for $550 million according to previous reports.

The company has already been under the scanner regarding its privacy practices after the 2018 Cambridge Analytics scandal. The company had reached a historic $5 billion deal in July with the US Federal Trade Commission as settlement for the case.

The social media platform is also working on strengthening the security measures for its Android app according to a tweet sent out by app engineer Jane Manchun Wong.

“Facebook for Android is working on security key support through FIDO2 (w/ on-device biometrics support) FB’s tech comms manager @alexvoica told me this test is part of their effort to strengthen account security and they DON’T collect any biometrics info as part of this feature,” Wong (@wongmjane) had tweeted.

“Great find! We’re always testing new ways to help people strengthen their account security. For this authentication feature, we would not collect any biometrics and only receive confirmation from the device that the person logging in is the person who registered the key,” tweeted Facebooks tech comms manager Alexandru Voica (@alexvoica) responding to Wong’s post.

Published on February 10, 2020

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