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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Bloomberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Bloomberg

India asks Facebook for update on hacking impact

Facebook officials said they were analysing the issue and would revert in two days

New Delhi: The information technology ministry on Monday asked Facebook to provide an update on the impact on Indian users due to the recent hacking incident, where around 50 million accounts were affected, sources said.

According to senior IT ministry officials, Facebook was on Monday verbally asked to update the government on the number of Indian users impacted by the recent attack.

Facebook officials said they were analysing the issue and would revert in two days, the officials added.

When contacted, Facebook declined to comment.

Last week, Facebook said hackers exploited a vulnerability in its system, impacting up to 50 million accounts. The US-based firm did not disclose country-specific impact.

Facebook, which has over 200 million users in India, counts the country among those with largest user bases globally. Mark Zuckerberg, in a press call, had said the company’s engineering team, on 25 September, found an attack affecting up to 50 million accounts on Facebook. “Attackers exploited a vulnerability in the code of the ‘View As’ feature, a privacy feature that lets people see what their Facebook profile would look like to another person," he added.

Stating that hackers had tried to access profile information fields, including name, gender and hometown, Zuckerberg said “we do not yet know if any private information was accessed that way".

Facebook said it had fixed the vulnerability and also informed law enforcement agencies.

Earlier in the year too, Facebook was mired by controversy when UK-based data mining firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of harvesting personal user data of 87 million global users of the social networking platform illegally to influence polls in several countries.

The company had drawn flak on the issue from policy makers across the world, including the Indian government that had shot off two notices to the social networking giant over the data breach.

Zuckerberg, at that time during a joint hearing of the US Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, had apologised for the “major breach of trust" and promised to take steps to protect user data.

In response to the first notice of the Indian government, Facebook had admitted that nearly 5.62 lakh people were “potentially affected" by the data breach incident.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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