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Cyber Security

Facebook reveals cyberattack, says data secure

Social media giant Facebook has announced that its computer systems were "targeted in a sophisticated attack" last month, though it also said it had found no evidence of user data being compromised.

Facebook Inc. announced on its security blog on Friday that the company had discovered in January that its computers were targeted by unidentified hackers.

"Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack," the company wrote in the Friday post, released shortly before a three-day bank holiday weekend in the US. "The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised."

The hackers in this case appeared to be targeting developers or technology companies, owing to their choice of laying their trap at a high-tech website.

Facebook said that it was "not alone" in this, saying it was "clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well."

The social media business said that no user data was compromised in the attack, and that it had cleared the malware from employee laptops.

Facebook shares dropped 18 cents before the markets shut on Wall Street late Friday, closing at $28.32 (21.16 euros), and dropping a further 7 cents in after-hours trading.

Latest in line

Rival social media outlet Twitter announced earlier in February that as many as 250,000 user accounts might have been compromised, saying in a blog post that the hacking "was not the work of amateurs" and that it appeared not to be an isolated incident.

Major US newpapers The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal similarly claimed to have been hit by cyberattacks, with the publications pointing the finger at China.

The Washington Post newspaper reported this week, citing unnamed officials, that the US intelligence community believed America has become the target of a widespread cyberespionage campaign. The paper identified the energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive sectors as the most frequently targeted.

msh/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)