From a vulnerability in 2019 to the data leak of 533 million users: The new Facebook scandal – Internet

In February, Alon Gal, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, revealed the existence of a database with telephone numbers of 533 million Facebook users. Now, through his Twitter account, the official reveals that the same database was completely exposed in an online hacking forum.


, with whom SAPO TEK tried unsuccessfully to contact, the database includes personal information of users from 106 countries. Portugal is one of the countries that is part of the extensive list, with 227,736.1 people who had their information exposed. In addition to telephone numbers, the database also contains data such as Facebook IDs, full names of users, location, dates of birth and, in some cases, e-mail addresses.

Apparently, neither the information of Mark Zuckerberg, nor of Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz, who were part of the team that founded Facebook, are safe. The Bleeping Computer website advances through its

that the data of those responsible are also part of the exposed database.

In response to SAPO TEK, a Facebook spokesman just reiterated that the data exposed “is old” and that it relates to a vulnerability that had been discovered and resolved in August 2019. Earlier this year, Facebook reportedly reported to the press that the security breach allowed users to collect data, such as telephone numbers, in bulk. The company said the data for sale contains Facebook IDs that were created before the vulnerability was resolved.

It is recalled that, at the beginning of the year, Alon Gal made it known that the data was being sold by a hacker through a Telegram bot. The bot allowed a user to check which Facebook profile corresponded to a certain number and vice versa. To access the information, it was necessary to buy credits, with prices ranging from $ 20 for just one to $ 5,000 per 10,000.

How do you know if you have been affected by the information leak?

For Alon Gal, the responsibility for alerting users affected by the information leak lies with the company led by Mark Zuckerberg. “Facebook needs to acknowledge this leak and not just with a statement saying ‘we value your information’,” says Hudson Rock


The expert had already indicated that although there is a possibility that some data is already out of date, the situation continues to present security and privacy risks, since the data “will certainly be used in smishing schemes and other fraudulent activities”.

In response to the incident, Troy Hunter, creator of the Have i Have I Been pwned website, decided to update his platform to give users the possibility to check if their email was compromised in the information leak.

For now, the person in charge of the website is still considering whether or not to let internet users check if their mobile phone number has been affected, as the situation is still being investigated and the veracity of the information is still being confirmed. In addition, Troy Hunter

that Facebook should alert users whose data has been compromised.

This is not the first time that Facebook has faced a controversy related to the treatment of its users’ data. In the scandal with the company Cambridge Analytica, data of 80 million users were released: a situation whose consequences still have repercussions in 2021.

In view of the growing number of online threats, it is recommended to increase the security of your Facebook account and you can consult a How To TEK dedicated to the theme, which also includes recommendations to strengthen protection on Instagram and WhatsApp.

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