Facebook was involved in yet another data scandal last month when it confirmed that the access tokens of some 50 million accounts were leaked. The company said at the time that it could not identify the individuals behind the attacks. A new report, however, claims the social media giant's initial probe indicates a group of spammers was responsible for the incident.
Citing sources privy to the investigation, The Wall Street Journal reports the attackers were identified as belonging to a digital marketing company which only aimed to generate profits using phony methods. The attackers are believed to have long been spreading spam content across Facebook and Instagram, of which the social network's security team has been aware for quite some time.
A few days prior to its revelation of the breach, Facebook kicked off an internal probe on the attacks after the company detected an irregular amount of digital access tokens being downloaded from the site. The Menlo Park-based company has also been cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the probe. It was found that the attacks exposed phone numbers, email addresses, gender, relationship status, and search and check-in data of 14 million users as well as the names and contacts of another 15 million users.
While Facebook claims that the attackers gained access only to a small subset of user data, the latest incident marks another blow to the company whose already embattled privacy posture is not giving adequate reassurance to its more than 2 billion global users.
Source: The Wall Street Journal