According to cyber security experts, a website used by hackers has posted the personal information of about half a billion used of Facebook from all over the world. The information that was posted included the phone numbers of the users.
According to Alon Gal, the CTO of cyber intelligence firm Hudson Rock, the website reportedly has personal data and records of more than 32 million Facebook accounts in the United States, 11 million in the United Kingdom, and 6 million in India.
He said that the details of the social media users as claimed by the hackers included, in some cases, the full name, location, birthday, email addresses, phone number, and relationship status of the users.
The news website Insider was the first to report the leak.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told the media.
Whether the Facebook users affected by this leak had been informed by the company was not yet clear.
“In 2019, we removed people’s ability to directly find others using their phone number across both Facebook and Instagram – a function that could be exploited using sophisticated software code, to imitate Facebook and provide a phone number to find which users it belonged to,” Stone added.
Even though the data that was displayed on the website dates back to the users of the largest social media platform of the world from 2019, the data could still be valuable for hackers and cyber criminals such as those who use identify theft for duping people.
The manner in which the user data of millions of Facebook users was sorted and posted on the hacking website earlier last week was done in such a way that it made it very easy for hackers and cyber criminals to exploit the data, Hudson Rock’s Alon Gal pointed out on Twitter.
“These are the pieces of data cyber criminals spend time searching for to perform social engineering attacks (a type of hacking) — but now they’re all in one place and easily accessible in this leak, which makes social engineering quicker and easier,” said Rachel Tobac, an ethical hacker and CEO of SocialProof Security, in an interview to the media.
(Adapted from CNN.com)