Facebook breach: India seeks details of impact

Facebook breach: India seeks details of impact

The Information and Technology Ministry had sought explanation from Facebook on the recent incident of hacking

The Information and Technology Ministry had sought explanation from Facebook on the recent incident of hacking and its impact on Indian users.

Facebook discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, the company announced on Friday.

Though the I-T Ministry did not send the formal notice to the social media giant, the government officials raised the issue with the company during the meeting on Monday.

"Facebook officials promised us to revert back after analysing the issue," said an official from the ministry. 

On last Friday, Facebook said hackers attacked its computer network which impacted nearly 50 million accounts. Though the company did not disclose country-specific impact, experts suspect that it might have hit accounts of third-party apps linked to Facebook.

The social media giant found that the attackers exploited the "View As" feature in Facebook's code, which allows users an access to preview their profiles as it would be seen by other users. This feature is meant to give users control over their privacy.

However, the US-based firm claimed that certain accounts might have been affected, not compromised. This means a user might have faced issues while using Facebook's "View As" feature but their accounts were not vulnerable to further attacks.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook had said the company's engineering team, on September 25, found an attack affecting up to 50 million accounts on Facebook.

The company claimed that it has fixed the vulnerability and also informed the law enforcement agency to probe it.

He noted that since the investigation is still early, Facebook hasn’t yet been able to determine if there was specific targeting.

Stating that hackers had tried to access profile information fields -- like name, gender and hometown, Zuckerberg said "we do not yet know if any private information was accessed that way".

Earlier also Facebook had come under attack when UK-based data mining firm Cambridge Analytica harvested personal user data of 87 million global users of the social networking platform illegally to influence polls in several countries.

The NDA government had sent two notices to Facebook seeking explanation over the data breach. The government is also planning to send one more notice as the authorities were not satisfied with the company's earlier replies.