Tuesday 16 January 2018

Terror fears after security breach for Facebook workers

'A Facebook spokesperson said only a small fraction of names was likely viewed and it doesn't have evidence of any threat to the staff affected - but each member was contacted individually and offered support'
'A Facebook spokesperson said only a small fraction of names was likely viewed and it doesn't have evidence of any threat to the staff affected - but each member was contacted individually and offered support'

Ryan Nugent

Gardaí are investigating after a security lapse at Facebook led to the personal details of up to 40 Irish staff at their Dublin headquarters being breached - potentially exposing their information to terrorists.

Up to 1,000 Facebook staff worldwide have been affected by the breach, which Facebook said was a bug in its internal systems, rather than hacking.

The Irish staff affected are based in a counter-terrorism unit of Facebook's Dublin HQ, according to 'The Guardian'.

The breach affected those who were in control of reviewing and removing inappropriate content from the social media site - including terrorist propaganda and hate speech.

Six of those affected were assessed as a high priority by Facebook.

An investigation conducted by Facebook did not find that any staff profiles were viewed by suspected Isil members.

The social media platform has since modified its systems to make it more difficult for staff accounts to be accessed externally and are also testing admin accounts separate to personal ones.

A Facebook spokesperson said only a small fraction of names was likely viewed and it doesn't have evidence of any threat to the staff affected - but each member was contacted individually and offered support.

"Last year, we learned that the names of certain people who work for Facebook to enforce our policies could have been viewed by a specific set of group admins within their admin activity log," the spokesperson said.

"As soon as we learned about this issue, we fixed it and began a thorough investigation to learn as much as possible about what happened.

"This included determining exactly which names were possibly viewed and by whom, as well as an assessment of the risk to the affected person."

Irish Independent

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