Data of 533 million Facebook users leaked online – The worst data breach the company has ever faced

Business Insider reports that the personal information of over 500 million Facebook users has appeared on a low-level hacking forum for free. Including accounts data from 106 countries, the leaked information includes users’ phone numbers, email IDs, birthdates, location, and bios. The biggest section of accounts hit is from the United States with records of 32 million accounts, 11 million from the UK, and 6 million from India.

Users’ personal credentials in hands of miscreants can be used for scams, fraud, or blackmail.

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Facebook faces the worst security breach till date as personal information of 533 million accounts is leaked online

Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock says that this security breach can be detrimental for users with their information in the wrong hands. Gal first discovered that personal credentials of Facebook users were sold for a price in January but are now available for free. He said:

“A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks [or] hacking attempts.

Individuals signing up to a reputable company like Facebook are trusting them with their data and Facebook [is] supposed to treat the data with utmost respect. Users having their personal information leaked is a huge breach of trust and should be handled accordingly.”

He further added that there isn’t much, the social media platform can for the affectees but it can still notify them to prevent phishing or other scams.

Gal said that, from a security standpoint, there’s not much Facebook can do to help users affected by the breach since their data is already out in the open — but he added that Facebook could notify users so they could remain vigilant for possible phishing schemes or fraud using their personal data.

As per the report, this is not the first time the social media tech giant has faced a massive security breach. In 2019, phone numbers of millions of Facebook uses were dumped from its server. Last year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom experienced several security lapses with not only personal information but user private messages, audio, and video calls that were leaked on the dark web. Fortunately, the company was able to offer stronger security walls and to make its service safer and secure. Facebook needs to do the same. It has already been under scrutiny for Cambridge Analytica data poaching to impact U.S elections, and recently, the CEO of the company faced Congress in a hearing on the spread of misinformation on the platform.

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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