Facebook says it was a target of sophisticated hacking
By Tim Reid and Joseph Menn, ReutersReuters--Facebook Inc. said on Friday it had been the target of an unidentified hacker group, but it found no evidence that user data was compromised.
February 17, 2013, 11:36 am TWN
“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 1 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 declined to comment on the motive or origin of the attack.
A security expert at another company with knowledge of the matter said he was told the Facebook attack appeared to have originated in China.
The FBI declined to comment, while the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Facebook's announcement follows recent cyber attacks on other prominent websites. Twitter, the microblogging social network, said earlier this month it had been hacked and that about 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, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have also been infiltrated. Those attacks were attributed by the news organizations to Chinese hackers targeting coverage of China.
While Facebook said no user data was compromised, the incident could raise consumer concerns about privacy and the vulnerability of personal information stored within the social network.