Colorado law firm files class action lawsuit against Facebook over security breach

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Two people from Colorado have joined a federal class action lawsuit against Facebook over its September security breach, according to a news release from Franklin D. Azar & Associates.

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Azar filed the lawsuit on Oct. 11 and is asking Facebook for damages and to provide credit monitoring services to the 30 million people impacted. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of people in Colorado, California and New Jersey, but Azar said it represents everyone affected.

On Sept. 28, Facebook notified users about a data breach. Originally, Facebook thought upwards of 50 million people were impacted. After an investigation, the social media giant determined about 30 million people’s accounts were hacked and their personal information, including phone numbers, emails and what pages people “like” was exposed.

“What this does is it makes it easier for attackers to leverage spearfishing and targeted attacks using all this personal information in a much more effective manner than they may have been able to, had they not had all that information at their fingertips,” said Jonathan Steenland, the chief operating officer for the National Cybersecurity Center.

NCC works with the government, military and schools to educate and train about cybersecurity issues. The center is based in Colorado Springs.

“Unlike credit card or identity theft where most of the time you do realize it fairly quickly … this is more kind of along the lines of intellectual property theft,” Steenland said.

In a statement, Facebook said it’s cooperating with the FBI and has been asked not to discuss who might have initiated the attack.

“This should be a wake-up call for everybody to really do what they can by taking advantage of the tools that they have at their disposal,” Steenland said.

He suggested having multi-factor authentication to log onto social media platforms. He also encouraged people to check their privacy settings and make sure they’re using all the security features available online.

“Every company, Facebook included, has responsibilities and skin in the game,” Steenland said. “Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for them, and not just them, but other companies who are susceptible to this type of thing.”

Facebook said it will contact the 30 million people who were affected and what steps they should take next.

If Azar wins the lawsuit, a representative said the law firm would disperse the money between all the people who were affected.