Facebook Hack Revealed; Data On 533 Million Users Breached

The personal data of 533 million Facebook users, including phone numbers and emails, has been leaked, The Verge reported.

The leak included “personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the U.S., 11 million on users in the U.K. and 6 million on users in India,” according to the report, which quoted Insider.

In addition to phone numbers and emails, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates and bios were also leaked, The Verge reported. The information is apparently from a dataset which people could pay for parts of with a Telegram bot. But now it seems that anyone who wants to take the information can do so for free.

Facebook has said that the data was “old data” that had been scraped in 2019, according to The Verge. But Troy Hunt, the creator of the Have I Been Pwned database, said there is no indication that the breach wasn’t legitimate. He said he had found around 2.5 million unique email addresses, but the biggest impact would be from phone numbers.

Hunt, in tweets, said that could be “gold” for spam based on just using phone numbers.

“Not just SMS, there are heaps of services that just require a phone number these days and now there’s hundreds of millions of them conveniently categorised by country with nice mail merge fields like name and gender,” he wrote on Twitter.

Cybercrime has risen during the pandemic, with all kinds of scams gaining action during the past year. Included in that is a recent surge in deepfakes, according to the FBI. The synthetic content could be used by hackers from Russia, China or other countries to help advance their agendas.

As artificial intelligence (AI) gains more prominence, the FBI said, these types of scams will become more ubiquitous.