A man uses an iPad with a Facebook app in this photo illustration in Sofia January 30, 2013. Facebook Inc's advertising business grew at its fastest clip since before the company's May initial public offering, helping the company's revenue expand 40 percent to $1.585 billion. Shares of Facebook were down 2.5 percent to $30.45 in after hours trading on Wednesday. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
An unknown group of hackers bombarded Facebook with attacks but no user data was breached, company officials said yesterday, Reuters reports.
"Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack. The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised," company officials said in a blog post, adding "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."
Officials say the attack took place in January and that Facebook was not the only victim of the attacks.
"Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well. As one of the first companies to discover this malware, we immediately took steps to start sharing details about the infiltration with the other companies and entities that were affected," officials said.
The attack focused on the plagued Java program that is installed on many computers as a default software. Oracle, the company who wrote the program, has instructions available on its website on how the software can be turned off. An updated version of Java is also available.
The attacked on the world's largest social network, Facebook claims to have over a billion users, is the latest this month by anonymous hackers that seem determined to access private company information. Earlier this month, hackers managed to pass by Twitter's security wall and stole the emails and user names from roughly 250,000 accounts.
Clearly, internet security has been challenged and has revealed its soft spots. The attacks go beyond just the networks of popular social website but extend to some of the most prestigious news organizations in the world. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post, fell victim to hackers who accessed the newspapers' internet network and potentially monitored sensitive material.
The motive and information extracted from that attack is unclear, officials say, but the attack appears to have originated in China and focused on Chinese news coverage by those publications.