53 crore phone numbers of Facebook users including India leaked, key details here

Clipped from: https://www.businesstoday.in/technology/53-crore-phone-numbers-of-facebook-users-including-india-leaked-key-details-here/story/435669.html

Leaked data from 53.3 crores Facebook users across the world was posted online. Cybersecurity experts believe the leaked information may be used for cyber crimes by bad actors.

Highlights

  • The leak includes the details and phone numbers of over 53.3 crores of Facebook users from 106 countries.
  • Personal data of over 60 lakh users in India have been compromised as well.
  • Cybersecurity experts warn that the data can be used for “social engineering attacks” by hackers.

In a major privacy breach, personal data of around 53.3 crores Facebook users from 106 countries have allegedly been posted online for free on low-level hacking forums.

The exposed data included details like phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and even email addresses of some users. Over 3.2 crore accounts in the US, 1.1 crores in the UK, and 60 lakh in India were exposed, as mentioned in a report in Business Insider.

A Facebook spokesperson said that the leaked data was scrapped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019. A vulnerability was discovered in 2019 that allowed phone numbers of millions of users to be scraped from Facebook servers. The social media giant said that the vulnerability was patched in August 2019.

Even though the leaked data is a couple of years old, it could provide valuable information to cybercriminals, said Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock who first discovered the leaked data online on Saturday.

“A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks or hacking attempts,” said Gal to the news site.

According to Gal, there is not much that Facebook could do at this point except for informing users that their data is out in the open so that users could remain vigilant in the future. He further added that Facebook users should be alert to “social engineering attacks” by people who may have obtained their phone numbers or other private data in the coming months.

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