Facebook Inc., operator of the largest social network with more than 1 billion members, is working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe a malware attack, people with knowledge of the matter said, reports newsday.
On Friday, Facebook said in their blog about the hack that this was a very “sophisticated attack” but that so far no evidence has been found that any Facebook user data has been compromised. Facebook Inc. operates the largest social network with “more than 1 billion members” worldwide.
Facebook stores the information of Facebook users. Since the social network is a primary target for hackers, the company employs a team which tries to detect and respond to any potential hackers. Facebook even pays “bounties to outside programmers who help identify malfeasance.”
Despite all of the company’s efforts to prevent an attack by hackers, however, Facebook discovered that a file on the laptop of one of its employees had been infected with malware after having visited a mobile developer’s website.
“By first hacking a mobile developer’s site, the attackers had ensured that they would infect the computers of engineers working for several companies, said Anup Ghosh, founder of Invincea Inc, a security firm based in Fairfax, Va.”
Upon further examination, Facebook discovered that the laptops of several employees had been infected with the malicious file. Facebook immediately cleaned all laptops that showed the malicious software and began an investigation into the hackers’ origin.
Oracle Corp, the owner of Java, has since issued a security patch that it says has fixed the problem. In its post, Facebook said it received the Java fix two weeks ago.
“As soon as we discovered the presence of the malware, we remediated all infected machines, informed law enforcement, and began a significant investigation that continues to this day.”
The websites of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal were also infiltrated by unknown hackers apparently targeting those papers’ media coverage of China.
Although Facebook claimed that no user data was compromised, the incident could raise privacy concerns about the vulnerability of personal data stored within the social network.