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Facebook’s abrupt password changes shock Vietnam users

Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 14:25 GMT+7
Facebook’s abrupt password changes shock Vietnam users
A message telling Facebook users what happened to their accounts is seen in this screenshot taken in Ho Chi Minh City on August 12, 2014.

Many Vietnamese Facebook users were Tuesday forced to change their passwords in what is believed to be a protective move by the social network over claims that billions of user credentials were stolen by hackers.

The users were stunned to be informed by Facebook that they typed in a wrong password when logging in, while others were abruptly logged out when browsing around Facebook.

These Facebookers were greeted with a message saying their account was “temporarily locked” as the social network had “detected suspicious activity on [their] account.”

“It’s likely that your account was compromised as a result of entering your password on a website designed to look like Facebook,” the message reads, adding that this kind of attack is called phishing.

While these users were worried that their accounts had been hacked, they were asked later by the social network to “walk through a security check to secure [their] account.”

For those that were unable to log in, Facebook requested them to make the log in attempt again using their old password.

The users would then receive a verification code sent to the email address they used to create their Facebook account.

After entering the code to prove that they were the real user of the account, users had to change their passwords in order to log in.

Users that had their accounts temporarily locked were also asked to choose a new password to be logged in.

The incident was in fact a required mass password change that Facebook applied on Vietnamese users, according to Internet security experts.

But as the users were uninformed of what really happened, they were shocked and worried that they might lose their accounts, experts added.

The Facebook move is believed by experts to stem from a recent claim by a U.S.-based security firm that 1.2 billion usernames and passwords at numerous websites were stolen by Russian hackers.

More than 4.5 billion user credentials including 1.2 billion unique usernames and passwords have been amassed by a Russian cybercriminal gang, security firm Hold Security reported on August 6.

As the stolen credentials could likely include those of Facebook users, the world’s largest social network decided to take action to protect its users, local experts said.

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