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Hackers loot the data of half a billion Facebook users

Kashif Najeeb

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Hackers loot the data of half a billion Facebook users
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Identifications, email addresses, telephone numbers or birthdays: Hackers have published the data of 533 million Facebook users worldwide on a website.

The data of more than 500 million Facebook users who were captured in 2019 have now been published on the Internet in a hacker forum. All 533,000,000 Facebook data has just been published free of charge, explained Alon Gal, head of technology of Hudson Rock, which collects information about cybercrime, on Saturday on the online service Twitter. He accused the online network Facebook of “absolute negligence”.

Published user data includes, among other things, complete usernames, dates of birth, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and sometimes also the relationship status. Business Insider reported that some of the data are still up-to-date.

This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely that the phone number used for the account has leaked, Gal explained. Criminals will certainly use the information for social engineering, fraud, hacking and marketing.

When personal information such as email addresses and phone numbers are in circulation, the risk increases that people will fall for fake e-mail because they can be made more authentic. According to the latest information, Facebook has 2.8 billion users who are active at least once a month.

Facebook has already had security problems several times

Facebook explained that it was not a new problem. These are old data that had previously been reported in 2019, the Facebook press office announced. We discovered and solved the problem in August 2019.

It is not the first scandal about user data for which Facebook is in criticism. In 2016, the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had used the personal data of millions of Facebook users for political advertising.

Already in 2019, telephone numbers of 420 million users had appeared on the net after a friend search function had been misused for data tapping. Although the telephone numbers were not openly visible, they could be accessed on a large scale via automated requests – so-called scraping. This violated the Facebook rules but was technically possible until the online network finally switched off the function. Once such data has been tapped, their dissemination on the net can hardly be stopped.

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