Security Market Segment LS
Sunday, 04 April 2021 22:27

533 million Facebook records leaked to the web for free


If you have a Facebook account and have had one for a few years, chances are high that your phone number and other user data has been leaked to the Internet.

A widely quoted report at Business Insider points to a Tweet from Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, uncovering a leak of two year old Facebook data to a "low level hacking forum."

Business Insider says the data "includes phone numbers, full names, location, email address, and biographical information," and could be used for identity theft or other nefarious purposes.

The leak underscores the danger of being forced to provide 100 points of ID to Facebook or other social media services, as the Australian Federal Government proposes doing

If Facebook and other social media companies can't secure their own user records, then how safe will those records be when augmented with copies of 100 points of ID, which would include things like drivers licenses, passports, Medicare cards or other identifying documents?

Business Insider said it was able to verify various accounts of people it knew, but Facebook told Business Insider "that the data was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019."

Full details at Business Insider here, but now that the information is out, even deleting your Facebook account won't stop the information it has already collected about you from leaking.

Naturally, Facebook's response has been slammed by many online, with BGR stating Facebook's response was "awful." 

Of course, Facebook has been well known to play fast and loose with user data, with claims it has been on an "apology tour" for the last decade and a half for the various leaks and issues the company has faced.

Business Insider quoted Gal as stating: “Individuals signing up to a reputable company like Facebook are trusting them with their data and Facebook [is] supposed to treat the data with utmost respect. Users having their personal information leaked is a huge breach of trust and should be handled accordingly.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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