Phone numbers and personal data of over half a billion Facebook users have been posted online on a low-level hacking forum. The data published includes Facebook users’ personal information from over 106 countries, including 32 million records of US Facebook users, 11 million UK users, and around 6 million users from India.
The leaked data contains phone numbers, Facebook IDs, locations, birth dates, and even emails in some cases. The leaked data itself is not new. It was scrapped off Facebook in 2019 via an exploit, which the company eventually fixed in August 2019. Facebook confirmed the same in a statement.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson told BleepingComputer. The scrapped data was being sold in hacking communities since June 2020 last year. That same data is now available for free for anyone.
All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free.
This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for the account was leaked.
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) April 3, 2021
Since the leaked data contains personal information like phone numbers and email ID, it can be used by cybercriminals for impersonation and scamming purposes. If you have a Facebook account, your personal data was likely leaked as a part of this security breach as well. You can check whether your email ID associated with your Facebook account has leaked or not using the Have I Been Pwned? tool.
You cannot check if your phone number has leaked or not, though if you had linked your Facebook account with your mobile number, it is likely a part of the data breach. If your data is a part of the breach, there’s not much you can do.
Facebook has already managed to create a bad reputation for stealing user data and tracking them silently. Such data breaches are not going to help its image any further. If you value your privacy, here’s a guide to managing Facebook privacy on your iPhone. You can also prevent Facebook from tracking you across iPhone apps and services.[Via Business Insider]