This story was first published on CNN.com, "Hackers accessed personal information of 30 million Facebook users".
But for about half of those whose accounts were broken into-about 14 million people-the hackers accessed intimate information, such as the last 10 places that person checked into, their current city and their 15 most-recent searches, the company said Friday.
"We now know that fewer people were impacted than we originally thought".
The company had originally said up to 50 million accounts were affected in a cyberattack that exploited a trio of software flaws to steal "access tokens" that enable people to automatically log back onto the platform.
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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. "Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don't need to re-enter their password every time they use the app", according to Facebook.
Having previously advised that the access tokens stolen by hackers had not been used to infiltrate other apps and services, the social networking giant now says 15 million people have had their names and contact details exposed.
Facebook shares fell 2.6 per cent after the breach was announced in September and they were down more than 1 per cent following the updated disclosures on Friday.
"The resources we are pointing people toward are based on the actual types of data accessed - including the steps they can take to help protect themselves from suspicious emails, text messages, or calls", the spokeswoman said.
He declined to discuss progress regarding figuring out who was behind the attack, saying Facebook had been asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to remain quiet on the topic. Facebook said it has turned off the "View As" feature as a security precaution.
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This action triggered a massive traffic spike, which Facebook engineers detected on September 16, and following investigations into the source of the traffic concluded it was a coordinated attack on September 26, patched the View As vulnerability on September 27, and went public with the breach on September 28. They then used the same vulnerability over and over again until they gathered tokens for around 400,000 accounts, which Rosen referred to as "seed accounts".
What can affected Facebook users do? Facebook says it reset those tokens last month, which is the reason you might have found you were logged out in September.
Facebook said the FBI is investigating, but asked the company not to discuss who may be behind the attack.
Facebook further outlined the numbers relating to specific information accessed.
If your account was hacked you will see a message similar to the one shown below which comes from a New York Times reporter's account which was compromised.
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Lemon said he felt bad for West's "minstrel show" in front of "mostly white people", adding he had to stop watching the meeting. You better play 4D chess with me. "That was the moment, that's the thing that drove them over the edge", Klavan said.
News of the hack emerged on 5 October when Facebook said it feared 50m users had been affected.