Facebook appears to be the latest high profile target of cyber-attacks, the company admitted yesterday. In recent weeks The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have all disclosed being compromised by hackers. Twitter too admitted they had been hit by a cyberattack and that approximately 250,000 user accounts had been compromised.
Now Facebook is saying some of their employee laptops had been infiltrated sometime last month by malware. The employees were said to have contracted the malware after visiting an unspecified website. The good news is that apparently no user data was compromised.
"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," Facebook said.
Facebook isn't saying where the attacks originated but, as you may have guessed already, suspicions lay with China. Meanwhile here's one comment Reuters made on the matter:
In its blog post, Facebook described the attack as a "zero-day" attack, considered to be among the most sophisticated and dangerous types of computer hacks. Zero-day attacks, which are rarely discovered or disclosed by their targets, are costly to launch and often suggest government involvement.
Since the attack came from a third-party website, there's a chance it could have been the first stage to exploiting many more companies, not just Facebook. As far as motive goes, the trend seems to be stealing intellectual property as well as plain old-fashioned espionage.