Facebook details of more than 500 million users ‘found on hacker website’

Information such as phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and email addresses was leaked

Ella Glover
Sunday 04 April 2021 11:48
Comments
Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured in 2018, said the leaked user data was from 2019
Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured in 2018, said the leaked user data was from 2019

Previously-leaked details from more than 500 million Facebook users have reportedly been found on a website for hackers.

The data of some 533 million people from 106 countries was online on Saturday, according to Business Insider — including more than 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India.

Included is the data is users’ phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses, Business Insider said. 

The data appears to be from 2019, according to a Facebook spokesperson. 

The information was first discovered by Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, who told Business Insider that a data leak of that size would “certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks [or] hacking attempts.”

He also called the data leak “a huge breach of trust” by Facebook and “should be handled accordingly,” although he added that there isn’t much Facebook can do other than notify users to remind them to stay vigilant from phishing scams. 

Read more:

“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”

The breach is a reminder of the vast amount of information social media sites, particularly Facebook, keep on their users, and how difficult it can be to keep it secure.

Facebook has been grappling with data security issues for years. In 2018, the social media giant disabled a feature that allowed users to search for one another via phone number following revelations that the political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.

In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users — nearly all U.S.-based — on the open internet. It is unclear if the current data dump is related to this database.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in