New York, Sep 29 (AP/UNB) — For users, Facebook's revelation of a data breach that gave attackers access to 50 million accounts raises an important question: What happens next?
For the owners of the affected accounts, and of another 40 million that Facebook considered at risk, the first order of business may be a simple one: sign back into the app. Facebook logged everyone out of all 90 million accounts in order to reset digital keys the hackers had stolen — keys normally used to keep users logged in, but which could also give outsiders full control of the compromised accounts.
Next up is the waiting game, as Facebook continues its investigation and users scan for notifications that their accounts were targeted by the hackers.
What Facebook knows so far is that hackers got access to the 50 million accounts by exploiting three distinct bugs in Facebook's code that allowed them to steal those digital keys, technically known as "access tokens." The company says it has fixed the bugs.
Users don't need to change their Facebook passwords, it said, although security experts say it couldn't hurt to do so.
Facebook, however, doesn't know who was behind the attacks or where they're based. In a call with reporters on Friday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg — whose own account was compromised — said that attackers would have had the ability to view private messages or post on someone's account, but there's no sign that they did.
"We do not yet know if any of the accounts were actually misused," Zuckerberg said.
The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a tumultuous year of security problems and privacy issues . So far, though, none of these issues have significantly shaken the confidence of the company's 2 billion global users.
This latest hack involved bugs in Facebook's "View As" feature, which lets people see how their profiles appear to others. The attackers used that vulnerability to steal access tokens from the accounts of people whose profiles came up in searches using the "View As" feature. The attack then moved along from one user's Facebook friend to another. Possession of those tokens would allow attackers to control those accounts.
One of the bugs was more than a year old and affected how the "View As" feature interacted with Facebook's video uploading feature for posting "happy birthday" messages, said Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management. But it wasn't until mid-September that Facebook noticed an uptick in unusual activity, and not until this week that it learned of the attack, Rosen said.
"We haven't yet been able to determine if there was specific targeting" of particular accounts, Rosen said in a call with reporters. "It does seem broad. And we don't yet know who was behind these attacks and where they might be based."
Neither passwords nor credit card data was stolen, Rosen said. He said the company has alerted the FBI and regulators in the United States and Europe.
Jake Williams, a security expert at Rendition Infosec, said he is concerned that the hack could have affected third party applications.
Williams noted that the company's "Facebook Login" feature lets users log into other apps and websites with their Facebook credentials. "These access tokens that were stolen show when a user is logged into Facebook and that may be enough to access a user's account on a third party site," he said.
Facebook confirmed late Friday that third party apps, including its own Instagram app, could have been affected.
"The vulnerability was on Facebook, but these access tokens enabled someone to use the account as if they were the account-holder themselves," Rosen said.
News broke early this year that a data analytics firm once employed by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, had improperly gained access to personal data from millions of user profiles. Then a congressional investigation found that agents from Russia and other countries have been posting fake political ads since at least 2016. In April, Zuckerberg appeared at a congressional hearing focused on Facebook's privacy practices.
The Facebook bug is reminiscent of a much larger attack on Yahoo in which attackers compromised 3 billion accounts — enough for half of the world's entire population. In the case of Yahoo, information stolen included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers. It was among a series of Yahoo hacks over several years.
U.S. prosecutors later blamed Russian agents for using the information they stole from Yahoo to spy on Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and employees of financial services and other private businesses.
In Facebook's case, it may be too early to know how sophisticated the attackers were and if they were connected to a nation state, said Thomas Rid, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University. Rid said it could also be spammers or criminals.
"Nothing we've seen here is so sophisticated that it requires a state actor," Rid said. "Fifty million random Facebook accounts are not interesting for any intelligence agency."
San Francisco, Sept 29 (AP/UNB) — Google CEO Sundar Pichai went to Washington Friday to discuss concerns about the company's business practices with members of Congress and emerged with an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump during an upcoming roundtable.
Larry Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council, extended the invitation while meeting with Pichai and the offer was accepted, according to the White House.
Other "internet stakeholders" will be invited to the same roundtable with Trump, the White House said, with other details, including the date, still to come.
Google didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump has recently accused Google of rigging the results of its influential search engine to suppress conservative viewpoints and highlight coverage from media that he says distribute "fake news." Google has denied any political bias.
The White House said Kudlow discussed the internet and the economy with Pichai on Friday, and described the talks as "positive and productive."
Pichai made the rounds in Washington just a few weeks after he and his boss, Google co-founder Larry Page, irked lawmakers by skipping a public hearing.
There was plenty to talk about, based on recent remarks by both lawmakers and Trump.
That includes recent reports that Google is poised to re-enter China with a search engine generating censored results to comply with the demands of that country's Communist government. Also potential new regulations that would define how much personal information that internet companies can collect about people using their services.
Both Trump and some U.S. lawmakers have been raising the possibility of asking government regulators to investigate whether Google has abused its power to thwart competition through its dominant search engine and other widely used services, which include Gmail, YouTube, the Chrome web browser and its Android software that runs most of the world's smartphones.
Pichai's meeting with about two dozen Republican lawmakers was held in the Capitol office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who represents a district in Google's home state of California.
"We held a very productive meeting with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to discuss concerns regarding Google's business practices," said Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia. He said Pichai will be invited to attend a public hearing that the House Judiciary Committee plans to hold in November, after the midterm elections.
Before the meeting with Republican lawmakers, Pichai also indicated he planned to meet with Democrats.
"These meetings will continue Google's long history of engaging with Congress, including testifying seven times to Congress this year," he said.
Google and its corporate parent, Alphabet, also may have been trying to mend some political fences after Pichai and Page — now Alphabet's CEO — snubbed Congress a few weeks ago. Neither of them appeared at a high-profile hearing looking into what Twitter, Facebook and Google have been doing to prevent Russia and other foreign governments from using their services to sow discord among U.S. voters in an attempt to sway elections.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified at the hearing, as did Facebook's No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, but Google was only willing to send its general counsel. That didn't satisfy lawmakers, who left a vacant chair that they hoped either Pichai or Page would occupy. The no-show prompted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to call Google "arrogant."
New York, Sept 28 (AP/UNB) - Facebook on Friday said it recently discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million user accounts.
The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a year of tumult for the global social media service.
In a blog post , the company says hackers exploited its "View As" feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to someone else. Facebook says it has taken steps to fix the security problem and alerted law enforcement.
To deal with the issue, Facebook reset some logins, so 90 million people have been logged out and will have to log in again. That includes anyone who has been subject to a "View As" lookup in the past year.
Facebook says it doesn't know who is behind the attacks or where they're based.
News broke early this year that data analytics firm that once worked for the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, had gained access to personal data from millions of user profiles. Then a congressional investigation found that agents from Russia and other countries have been posting fake political ads since at least 2016. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared at a Congressional hearing over Facebook's privacy policies in April.
In a call with reporters on Friday, Zuckerberg said that the company doesn't know yet if any of the accounts that were hacked were misused.
Facebook has more than 2 billion users worldwide. The company said people do not need to change their Facebook passwords, but anyone having trouble logging on should visit the site's help center . Those who want to log out can visit the "Security and Login" section of their settings, which lists the places that people are logged into Facebook. It has a one-click option of logging out of all locations.
Ed Mierzwinski, the senior director of consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG, said the breach was "very troubling."
"It's yet another warning that Congress must not enact any national data security or data breach legislation that weakens current state privacy laws, preempts the rights of states to pass new laws that protect their consumers better, or denies their attorneys general rights to investigate violations of or enforce those laws," he said in a statement.
Dhaka, Sep 27 (UNB)- After securing market leadership in 4.5G network with 7,300 sites all over the country, Robi has now significantly improved its 3.5G indoor coverage, speed and accessibility, said a press release on Thursday.
This has been made possible as Robi has ensured around 50% boost in both coverage and capacity by upgrading significant portion of its 3.5G base with triple carrier.
Robi is the only operator in the country that has upgraded 4,300 3.5G sites up to triple carrier from conventional two carrier technology in first phase, claimed the press release.
Following the path of its continuous improvement initiative, the largest 4.5G network provider in the country (7,300 4.5G sites in 538 out of 544 thanas) is using 900 MHz spectrum for both 4.5G and 3.5G which is much stronger and more effective for data coverage.
In this phase, the triple carrier 3.5G sites are available in Dhaka, Chattogram, Cumilla, Noakhali and Tangail. Robi has upgraded 1,450 sites in Dhaka Metro and surrounding areas, 1,460 sites in Chattogram Metro and surrounding areas; 650 sites in Noakhali, 640 sites in Cumilla and 100 sites in Tangail to triple carrier.
Commenting on this, Robi’s Chief Technology Officer, Medhat El Husseiny said: “It proves our commitment for not only the widest 4.5G network, but also for the best 3.5G network. Robi is the only operator in the country using 900 MHz spectrum for both 4.5G and 3.5G which is the most effective use of spectrum for data coverage.”
The triple carrier 3.5G sites will raise the population coverage of our 3.5G service in Dhaka, Chattogram, Noakhali, Cumilla and Tangail to more than 90%. Alongside the increased 3.5G coverage, the triple carrier 3.5G sites will greatly enhance our customers’ experience be in urban or rural area, the press release added.
Masudul Hoque, back from Shenzhen, China
Dhaka, Sept 27 (UNB) – Leading global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices company Huawei has completed 20 years of its service in Bangladesh - a period that saw the country transformed into an advanced mobile technology.
Huawei's presence in Bangladesh market for past 20 years saw the country's graduation from a basic technology-driven society to an advanced ICT-driven society where the Chinese multinational, the Shenzen-based largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world also played pioneering role in deploying 3G and 4G in Bangladesh.
In order to take forward the technological advancement of the country, Huawei has taken several steps on the implementation of 5G, Zhang Zhengjun, CEO, Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited, told UNB.
5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G, 3G and 2G systems. 5G performance targets include high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity.
“Recently, we demonstrated 5G in the country which was inaugurated by Prime Minister’s ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy as part of Vision 2021,” said Zhang Zhengjun.
Huawei has been in business in Bangladesh for past 20 years starting from 1998 with 85 percent of its local staffs Bangladeshi nationals.
Huawei shares the vision of Digital Bangladesh in its journey from 2G to 4G, Zhan Zhengjun said adding that “Number of smart devices has increased phenomenally during 2013 to 2017.”
Huawei is growing up together with the ICT Industry of Bangladesh and is also concerned about corporate social responsibility through programmes like-ICT Mobile Training Bus, Seeds for the Future, relief campaigns, sports sponsorship and so on, the Huawei Bangladesh CEO said.
Based in Dhaka, Huawei Bangladesh has 7 offices, 14 Terminal Service Centers and 350+ Smartphone Brand Shops in this country.
Besides providing integrated networking equipment to all the telecom service providers, Huawei has been contributing a lot to the development of Digital Bangladesh by state-of-the-art ICT solutions.
On September 11, top ten Bangladeshi students of Huawei’s flagship CSR programme “Seeds for the Future 2018” were invited for a visit to its headquarters in China.
Previously, a good many students from Bangladesh also visited different parts of China in 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the Seeds for the Future Programme.
To help Bangladesh train ICT talents and create more opportunities for the talents, ‘Seeds for the Future’ was the first flagship programme launched in the country.
Huawei Bangladesh chose Shakib Al Hasan, the no. 1 all-rounder cricketer as its brand ambassador.
In December 2017, Huawei Bangladesh was awarded highest VAT payer in service sector for fiscal year 2015-2016 in Dhaka district.
Previously, in July 2014, Huawei Bangladesh was awarded the "Best Tax Payer Enterprise".
Huawei signed MoU for “ICT Mobile Training Bus” project in 2016 which was a huge milestone.
Huawei’s 5G technology will enhance mobile broadband, support national energy transformation, increase automotive safety and efficiency, drive manufacturing transformation, bring health to everyone and thus, provide new business opportunities for telecom operators.
The company has more than 180,000 employees, 36 Joint Innovation Centers, 14 R&D centers and operates in more than 170 countries and regions.
Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.