More recently, the information portal Business Insider reported that a massive leak of personal information occurred on the social network Facebook: the data of more than 530 million users were exposed to the public. The list includes 106 countries of the world. We will tell you how it happened and what you need to do to find out if your data has been attacked by hackers.
What personal information of Facebook users has been made public?
On one of the forums, hackers published names, surnames, dates of birth, phone numbers, places, biographical information and email addresses of Facebook users. The information remained publicly available for 10 days and, according to Business Insider, was made available to “anyone with basic data skills.” The portal was able to verify a number of records that were leaked. He matched the phone numbers of famous users on the social network with the specified identifiers and verified the email addresses based on the data from the password reset function.
However, according to a Facebook spokesman, the hackers used old information leaked from two years ago. This issue was discovered and fixed back in late summer 2019. The official of the social network admits that in cases where data leaks from Facebook, the company has limited opportunities to influence their distribution on the Internet.
What is the danger of data leakage for Facebook users?
The cache with information from the social network was first discovered by Alon Gal, who is the CTO at Hudson Rock and is involved in the fight against cybercrime. He stated that large databases with important information, as a rule, do not spread instantly – the owners are trying to monetize them for as long as possible. This process can last for several days or up to 2-3 years. But ultimately, the data becomes publicly available. Gal argues that although the information is outdated, it is not a problem for cybercriminals to use it to obtain passwords from Facebook users to hack their pages.
Experts believe that the danger of information leakage also lies in the fact that attackers can make calls on behalf of stores, insurance companies, banks and other businesses. This makes it possible for unscrupulous advertisers to engage in spam more actively. Information leakage leaves users vulnerable to fraudsters, as they gain control over sensitive information, with the help of which it is easy to carry out targeted offers.
The personal details of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg were also present in the hackers’ vault. For general review, information about his marriage, address, date of birth, contact phone number and social network user ID were posted. This database turned out to be the data of two more co-founders of Facebook – Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskowitz.
How to check if your data got into the merged database?
According to Fast Company, the scale of the leak is so large that it affects about one in five Facebook users. The probability that your data has been leaked to the network is about 20%. However, you can easily check if your personal information got into a hacker’s database. Just go to the News Every Day website. It is enough to enter a phone number and you will see if your data is in the hands of fraudsters.
So, according to experts, the situation with the leak can negatively affect the business model of Facebook. First of all – on activities related to the collection of information and its use for the purpose of selling targeted advertising.