Posted on April 4, 2021 at 1:45 PM
Data stolen from 533 million Facebook users has been leaked online. This is according to a report made by the CTO of Hudson Rock, Alon Gal.
On Saturday, a user in a hacking forum released personal details acquired from 533 million user accounts. After acquiring the data, the hacker published information acquired from these accounts including phone numbers, dates of birth, location details and more. The hacker listed the information free without requesting any payment.
The data that was acquired was from Facebook users in 106 countries. The most affected countries were the US, with 32 million user accounts being hacked, 11 million accounts in the UK and 6 million accounts in India.
Details of the leaked data
The details on the leaked Facebook data were provided by Alon Gal, who is the CTO at Hudson Rock. In a tweet that was posted by Alon Gal, more than 533 million user accounts on Facebook were compromised and phone numbers exposed. This data breach could pose serious privacy concerns for millions of Facebook users.
Gal initially discovered a hack into the Facebook platform on January after a hacker advertised a bot that could give out phone numbers associated with millions of Facebook accounts.
The data provided at that time was authenticated to be true and the bot was being sold at a price. However, now the entire database of the hacked Facebook user accounts is being posted for free and this makes it available to anyone who would want to use such details for malicious gains.
The hacker has not yet given a response over the release of the data. However, this will not be first time that Facebook is being breached and user data exposed. Vulnerability into Facebook’s security systems was discovered in 2019 and this enabled millions of user phone details to be taken off the Facebook servers. However, Facebook stated that they had amended the vulnerability and that their systems were secure.
On numerous occasions, Facebook has come out to announce that they would take tough measures to prevent data scraping on the platform. In 2016, the famous Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, created restlessness among Facebook users and the platform vowed to make sure that such a case would never happen again.
Cambridge Analytica had scrapped the data of over 80 million users in a bid to influence election results by creating targeted ads. In this scandal, millions of user personal details were obtained from Facebook without their authorization.
Gal stated that at the time, there was little that Facebook could do to protect the users whose data had been illegally obtained and shared. This was because the user data had already been posted and it is now in circulation for different people to see.
However, Facebook could notify their users about the hacked details and inform them to be vigilant against any phishing calls and messages they may receive from people who acquired their names, phone numbers, dates of birth and location. Gal also stated that Facebook needed to take responsibility for the breach because leaking of personal information on such as platform constitutes to a breach of trust and privacy.