Facebook suspects spammers were culprits in latest data breach
Facebook Inc. believes that the hackers who gained access to the private information of 30 million of its users were spammers looking to make money through deceptive advertising, according to people familiar with the company’s internal investigation.
The preliminary findings suggest that the hackers weren’t affiliated with a nation-state, the people said. Facebook’s security team has been investigating the incident since Sept. 25, when it discovered that someone was downloading a large quantity of digital access tokens on the social network.
In several public briefings about the incident, the company has declined to say who is behind the attack, which it has called the biggest security breach in its history. When they first announced the attack, Facebook FB, +0.40% officials said they may never discover the identities of the hackers.
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Internal researchers now believe that the people behind the attack are a group of Facebook and Instagram spammers that present themselves as a digital marketing company, and whose activities were previously known to Facebook’s security team, said the people familiar with the investigation. Facebook has previously said it was working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on a criminal probe into the incident.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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