Phone Number Of 50 Crore Facebook Users Leaked, For Free; Indians Also Impacted

Over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries had their data exposed, 6 million Indians among them.
Over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries had their data exposed, 6 million Indians among them.

A low-level hacker publicly posted the personal details of over 500 million Facebook users on the internet in a forum. The information such as the phone numbers and personal data was published on Saturday.

“Individuals signing up to a reputable company like Facebook is trusting them with their data and Facebook [is] supposed to treat the data with the utmost respect,” Alon Gal, CTO of Hudson Rock, a cybercrime intelligence said. “Users having their personal information leaked is a huge breach of trust and should be handled accordingly.”

Leaked Data Could Provide Valuable Information To Cybercriminals

Alon Gal, CTO of Hudson Rock, a cybercrime intelligence, the firm first discovered the leak on Saturday.

“All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free,” he wrote in a tweet. “This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for that account was leaked.”

Facebook acknowledged the news in an emailed statement Saturday afternoon but said the data was obtained during a breach in 2019.

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

However, according to Gal, the vulnerability allowed hackers to see the phone numbers and other personal information of Facebook users.

“It was severely under-reported and today the database became much more worrisome,” he wrote.

By Gal’s count, 3,494,385 users in Canada were affected. Global News has not independently verified the number of Canadian accounts affected.

Global News has reached out to Facebook to confirm how many accounts have been affected in Canada and to determine how the company is handling the leak but did not immediately hear back.

Exposed Personal Information

Data details of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries were revealed, including over 32 million records for US users, 11 million for UK users, and 6 million for Indian users. Their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, addresses, birthdates, profiles, and, in some cases, email addresses are all included.

“A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks [or] hacking attempts,” Gal told Insider.

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