More than 500 million Facebook users’ data is now on a website for hackers

Kate Plummer
Sunday 04 April 2021 12:42
Science and Tech
Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured in 2018, said the leaked user data was from 2019(AP)

Yesterday, it was revealed that details from more than 500 million Facebook users had been made available on a website for hackers.

The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates and – in some cases – email addresses.

It was posted in a low level hacking forum by an unknown user and was discovered by cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock. Facebook said the data is over two years old and stemmed from a problem that had been fixed in 2019.

But Alon Gal, chief technology officer at Hudson Rock said the data could allow “bad actors” to rack “advantage.”

He said: “A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks or hacking attempts.”

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He added that Facebook should notify affected users so they could remain vigilant for phishing schemes or fraud.

And it is not the first time the security of data stored by Facebook has been called into question. In 2018, it was revealed that political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on up to 87 million users without their knowledge or consent.

Meanwhile, in December 2019, a Ukrainian security research reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million US-based Facebook users on the internet.

This latest issue will give Facebook another cause to facepalm.

Oh dear.