Private details of at least 500 million Facebook users have been leaked, including phone numbers and other data, says leaker.
According to leaker, they are offering information on more than 500 million Facebook Inc users virtually for free. According to Alon Gal, co-founder of Israeli cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, the database seems to be the same set of Facebook-linked phone numbers that has been circulating in hacker circles since January. Its first existence was first reported by tech publication Motherboard.
Reuters did not immediately examine the information, it is being offered for a few euros’ worth of digital credit on a well-known site for low-level hackers. However, on Saturday, Gal said that he had confirmed the validity of at least some of the data by relating it against phone numbers of people he knew.
Meanwhile, some other journalists say that they have also been able to match known phone numbers to the details in the data dump.
In a statement, Facebook said that “the data was “very old” and related to an issue that it had fixed in August 2019.”
Moreover, an attempt by Reuters to reach the leaker over the messaging service Telegram was not straightaway successful. Gal told Reuters that social media platform, Facebook users should be alert to “social engineering attacks” by people who may have obtained their phone numbers or other private data in the coming months.
The social media giant was pounded by criticism in 2018 at home and abroad over leaks that a firm working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reaped and misused data on 50 million members.
Calls for inquiries came on both sides of the Atlantic after Facebook responded to explosive reports of misuse of its data. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican John Kennedy called for Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to appear before Congress, along with Google and Twitter’s CEOs.