- This data leakage occurred on Saturday, April 3, 2021
- Over 500 million Facebook users personal data has been posted on a low-level hacking forum
- Personal data includes full names, email addresses, phone numbers, location, and bio
- Security experts warn that leaked data could be used by hackers to commit frauds and for blackmailing purposes
On Saturday, April 3, 2021, a user of a low-level hacking forum published data of over 533 million Facebook users for free.
The leaked data includes personal information of over a half-billion Facebook users, such as phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birth dates, bios, and in some cases email addresses too of almost 106 countries from America, Asia, and Europe.
This data leakage is currently exposed by Alon Gal, chief technology officer of Hudson Rock. Hudson Rock is a cybercrime intelligence firm, which keeps its eyes open on such issues.
In early 2020 a vulnerability that enabled seeing the phone number linked to every Facebook account was exploited, creating a database containing the information 533m users across all countries.
It was severely under-reported and today the database became much more worrisome 1/2 pic.twitter.com/ryQ5HuF1Cm
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) January 14, 2021
Facebook has been facing data security issues for many years. In 2018, Facebook administration made unavailable a feature to search other people using their phone numbers. Because Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm had obtained the personal data of millions of Facebook users without the consent of Facebook administration.
In a similar incident, a Ukrainian-based security expert reported in 2019 that a dataset with names, phone numbers, and IDs is available online of more than 267 million Facebook users – all nearly from the US.
In wake of the current data breach, a Facebook spokesperson expressed in an email:
This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.