A user in a low level hacking forum on has published the phone numbers, biographical information, email addresses and other personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free. The hack was made public on Saturday, the 1st
The exposed data includes personal information of over 500 million Facebook users from more than 100 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. The exposed data includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and email addresses.
A Facebook spokesperson told an interview that the data was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company had patched in 2019. The interview was conducted by Insider News Insider. The magazine also reviewed a sample of the leaked data and verified several records by matching known Facebook users’ phone numbers with the IDs listed in the data set, while also verifying records by testing email addresses from the data set in Facebook’s password reset feature, which can be used to partially reveal a user’s phone number.
This is not the first time that a huge number of Facebook users’ phone numbers have been found exposed online. The said vulnerability that was uncovered in 2019 allowed millions of people’s phone numbers to be scraped from Facebook’s servers in violation of its terms of service. Facebook said that vulnerability was patched in August 2019. Facebook previously vowed to crack down on mass data-scraping after Cambridge Analytica scraped the data of 80 million users in violation of Facebook’s terms of service to target voters with political ads in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, Security researchers warn that the data could be used by hackers to impersonate people and commit fraud.
We at Netserver, encourage all social media users to continue to take steps to secure their accounts including;
- Not exposing too much information online about themselves
- Changing passwords regularly
- Filling out only required fields and ignoring non-required fields
- If possible, only join social media networks that do not ask for your private data