Over half a billion Facebook users’ details have been found online on a hacking forum.
The breach, first spotted by cyber security firm Hudson Rock includes full names, ID numbers, phone numbers, global locations birth dates, email addresses and bios.
According to a report on Bloomberg, the breach affects users in 106 countries and the more than 533 million accounts have been confirmed as authentic.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg in an email. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
Facebook’s massive data collection
While the data may be old, it’s a timely reminder of exactly how much data the social media platform collects from its users and how secure (or not) that data is.
At the time the leak was reported in 2019, Facebook did move to remove the flaw that allowed its users’ data to be leaked in the first place. However, once that data is out in the wild, there is little to nothing that the social media giant can do to prevent it spreading. The fact that this data is available for free on a hacker forum is more than a little worrying.
Facebook’s 2021 woes continue
The report arrives mere days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg- along with Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey – were hauled up in front of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee (via video conference) to answer questions surrounding their platforms’ possibly culpability in the Capitol Hill riots that took place in January.
Zuckerberg’s company is also about to come under scrutiny locally in May, when it is to appear before South Africa’s parliament to explain what it plans to do about misinformation spread on its platform.