The breached data came from a security vulnerability that Facebook patched in 2019. It includes names, phone numbers, Facebook IDs, emails, relationship statuses, locations, and other information on 533 million users from 106 countries. This data was found on a hacking forum, free to download.
Egypt (44.8 million users), Tunisia (39.5), Italy (35.7), and the US (32.3) were among the most affected countries.
A Facebook spokesperson called the data “old” and pointed out that the actual amount of leaked records might be much lower, as there are many duplicate accounts. However, this is not a good argument. People don’t change their phone numbers every year and this could put millions of users at risk.
Attentive readers might remember that a couple of months ago we wrote another article on a Facebook breach. Are these stories related?
Yes — in fact, we’re talking about the same issue. In January, the news began to spread that hackers were selling Facebook users’ info, using a Telegram bot. The bot allowed people to match Facebook IDs with phone numbers, and vice versa.
At that point, cybercriminals were still selling this service, so why is the data now freely available? Well, it may be because the Telegram operation stopped being profitable over time, but some cybersecurity researchers believe that releasing data like this is a way for hackers to gain credibility in their community.
You don’t need to wonder across hacking forums to find out whether your personal information was leaked. Head to the Have I Been Pwned website, operated by cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt, and find out if you’ve been compromised.
All you need to do is input your phone number or email address, and the website will immediately show if your details were exposed in any verified data breach.
Knowing your phone number, email address, and Facebook ID is enough to set up various cyber attacks and scams:
If you’ve discovered that your personal details were exposed on Facebook leak, there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of, and steps you can take to protect yourself:
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