The personal data belonging to 533 million Facebook users has been leaked online, according to security specialist Alon Gal on Monday.
The phone numbers, email addresses, birthdates, and other information belonging to the hundreds of millions of Facebook users is now online and is searchable, according to Insider.
A total of 617,722 Greek individuals’ information was taken as part of the breach.
“The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India,” according to a report from Insider late on Monday.
Phone numbers, bios, birthdates, locations part of breach
“It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses.”
Back in January, a similar scheme unfolded when that same data set was breached from that same 533 million people. At that time, hackers could obtain the information by using a Telegram bot, which was disclosed by Motherboard at that time.
But in an even more-jaw-dropping revelation, it surfaced today that anyone wouldn’t even have to pay anything to obtain the information.
Reports say that Facebook told Insider that the data was leaked due to a “vulnerability” that it had repaired back in 2019. However, Facebook said basically the same thing when asked about the leak by Motherboard in January.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” Facebook told BleepingComputer. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.” Facebook has not yet replied to a request for further information as of Monday afternoon from The Verge.
It appears at present that the treasure trove of telephone numbers might be the real find here for bad actors.
Troy Hunt a computer security expert and the creator of a database called “Have I Been Pwned,” told reporters that “I haven’t seen anything yet to suggest this breach isn’t legit.”
After searching, Hunt found “only” about 2.5 million unique email addresses out of the gigantic amount of information that was breached.
However, he admits “the greatest impact here is the phone numbers.” Hunt has an entire Twitter thread about the breach and everyone who fears that their information may have been hacked is encouraged to look through his information. Hunt has loaded the leaked email addresses into his aforementioned database.
so members of the public can check to see if theirs is part of the dataset. Hunt reportedly is is considering whether or not to make the leaked phone numbers available in the same way.
How to check if your information was compromised in Facebook data breach
in addition to the above site, “Have I Been Pwned,” in which all you need to do is follow the links to find out if you are part of the breach, a couple other avenues are worth looking into.
Gizmodo is now suggesting checking out a site called “The News Each Day.” When there, all you have to do it put your phone number in to determine whether or not it was part of the Facebook hack.
If indeed your information was part of the Facebook security lapse, you should change your passwords for sites that have been compromised, or use a password manager so that you can create and track unique passwords for each site.
You can also begin using use two-factor authentication to give you that extra security, and stay alert for news of any other breaches.
Some people who have had their information compromised go so far as to freeze their credit — but when you need to apply for credit anytime in the future, it can only be unfrozen through a fairly laborious process by contacting credit reporting companies. However, the peace of mind it gives may be well worth it.
— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) April 3, 2021