New Delhi: A hacker has revealed sensitive account details and phone numbers of nearly 533 million (53.3 crore) Facebook users which constitutes a fifth of its entire user base, these include more than 61 lakh Indian users.
The leaked data includes profile names, Facebook ID numbers, email addresses, gender details, location information, job data, and more.
Alon Gal, CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, tweeted to inform about the leak: “All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free. This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for the account was leaked”.
“I have yet to see Facebook acknowledging this absolute negligence of your data,” he added.
Facebook has confirmed the leak to The Record, a tech news website.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report.
The data is reportedly fractioned up into download packages by country of users. This is a concerning development as such details being available in the public domain pose a real danger of this information being by cybercriminals for email or SMS spam, threats and harassment, etc.
This is being seen as the biggest ever data leak of a social media platform while Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica is still widely discussed for its real-life ramification as date of nearly 87 million users, including over 5 lakh users from India was said to have been compromised.
Earlier this year in January, it was reported that the phone numbers of 533 million users were being sold through a bot on messaging platform Telegram. Cybercriminals used a Facebook vulnerability to access the details, the vulnerability was said to have been patched back in 2019.
Gal had then said: “It is very worrying to see a database of that size being sold in cybercrime communities, it harms our privacy severely and will certainly be used for smishing (the fraudulent practice of sending text messages) and other fraudulent activities by bad actors.”
However, with the fresh Facebook data leak, a lot more details have been published by hackers. While Facebook calls the exposé old news, how is this situation going to be dealt with remains to be seen.
(With Agency Inputs)