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A new report from Business Insider stated that data of over 500 million Facebook users was leaked and uploaded online for free. However, Liz Bourgeois who heads communications at FB stated that this was an old vulnerability patched in August 2019.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) needs to have a close watch on what’s happening at the company at this moment. As per the Business Insider report on Sunday, April 4, data of over 500 million Facebook users appeared on a website of hackers.
Although the information could possibly be several years old, it puts the social media giant once again in a bad spotlight. Over the last few years, Facebook has been rep[eatedly in the new for his user-data handling. The social media giant has also been in controversy in multiple instances.
With over 2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook is home to almost 1/3rd of the world population. Such slippages on the social media giant’s part are certainly inexcusable. The BI report noted that a low-level hacking forum published the data of hundreds of millions of FB users for free online. The report adds:
“The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and – in some cases – email addresses”.
Speaking to the publication, a Facebook spokesperson revealed the reason behind this! The spokesperson said that it could possibly be due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019. Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, was the first to discover the data hack.
“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,” said Gal, speaking to BI.
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
Watch Out for Facebook Stock Possibly Falling after Data Loss News
This is not the first time that Facebook has been facing a massive breach. There have been more than three such instances over the past five years. Cambridge Analytica reportedly scrapped information of over 80 million users going against Facebook’s terms of service. The data analytics firm targetted users with political ads in 2016.
Gal said that with the recent data breach, there’s not much Facebook can do from a security standpoint. However, it must notify its users to stay vigilant for possible phishing scams. He said:
“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.”
Investors shall keep a close watch on the FB stock as things could possibly turn south. However, Facebook has clarified that this is old data and the vulnerability was patched in 2019. On Friday closing, the FB stock was trading at $298. Even in the pre-market session, the FB stock is trading up moving past $300.