What was seen? Were you hacked?

Boston Herald - - NEWS -

NEW YORK — Could hack­ers have been able to see the last per­son you cy­ber­stalked, or that party photo you were tagged in? Ac­cord­ing to Face­book, the un­for­tu­nate an­swer is “yes.”

On Fri­day, the so­cial net­work said fewer users were af­fected in a se­cu­rity breach it dis­closed two weeks ago than orig­i­nally es­ti­mated — nearly 30 mil­lion, down from 50 mil­lion. In ad­di­tional good news, the com­pany said hack­ers weren’t able to ac­cess more sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion like your pass­word or fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion. And third­party apps weren’t af­fected.

Still, for users al­ready un­easy about the pri­vacy and se­cu­rity of their Face­book ac­counts af­ter a year of tu­mult, the de­tails that hack­ers did gain ac­cess to — gen­der, re­la­tion­ship sta­tus, home­town and other info — might be even more un­set­tling.

Face­book has been quick to let users check ex­actly what was ac­cessed. But beyond learn­ing what in­for­ma­tion the at­tack­ers ac­cessed, there’s rel­a­tively lit­tle that users can do — beyond, that is, watch­ing out for sus­pi­cious emails or texts. Face­book says the prob­lem has been fixed.

The com­pany set up a web­site that its 2 bil­lion global users can use to check if their ac­counts have been ac­cessed, and if so, ex­actly what in­for­ma­tion was stolen. It will also pro­vide guid­ance on how to spot and deal with sus­pi­cious emails or texts. Face­book will also send mes­sages di­rectly to those peo­ple af­fected by the hack.

On that page, fol­low­ing some pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the ques­tion “Is my Face­book ac­count im­pacted by this se­cu­rity is­sue?” ap­pears mid­way down. It will also pro­vide in­for­ma­tion spe­cific to your ac­count if you’re logged into Face­book.

Face­book said the hack­ers ac­cessed names, email ad­dresses or phone num­bers from th­ese ac­counts. For 14 mil­lion of them, hack­ers got even more data — ba­si­cally any­thing view­able on your ac­count that any of your friends could see, and more.

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