Experts found another issue in Facebook's systems. A private research company discovered that over 1.5 billion information of FB users are for sale in a hacker forum. Available online tools can help concerned users check if they are part of the Facebook Data Breach 2021.
Facebook encountered a lot of problems in these last few days. It recently suffered a power outage, which disconnected all its systems (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus) from the internet. The company is also facing legal troubles after a whistleblower alleged it is prioritizing "its own interests, like making more money" and disregarding user wellness.
Now, experts expressed the latest concern about Facebook and its user data safety and privacy. The research was conducted by the private cybersecurity firm Privacy Affairs.
Facebook Data Breach 2021: 1.5 Billion User Data For Sale
According to TechRepublic, 1.5 billion FB user data were found for sale online. Facebook has approximately 3 billion registered users, which means half of the social media platform's total population had their data compromised.
The data stolen was obtained by scraping publicly available data on FB user profiles. Malicious actors possibly used bot tools through plugins and quizzes to harvest the data.
Privacy Affairs founder and CEO Miklos Zoltan explained, "every time someone enters one of these (Facebook) surveys or quizzes, they permit the creators of these games to view their personal Facebook information," per TechRepublic.
Privacy Affairs cross-checked the data sample of the seller against all known Facebook leaks, and results showed no match-ups. However, when further examined, the data appeared authentic. This implies new and legitimate stolen FB data.
Data sold online included Facebook user ID information, names, email addresses, locations, gender, phone numbers and more. These data sold are usually enough for malicious actors to phish, scam, spam, intercept messages and even attempt a hack on the victim's account.
As of Wednesday, the sale post was taken down thanks to Facebook's initiative. However, it is uncertain at this point if the data would be posted or exploited on a different hacker website.
2 Tools to Check If Your Data Have Been Leaked
Two online tools are available for concerned users to check on their accounts. These tools will specifically tell you whether or not your data has been compromised. These tools also have the ability to check if your account was leaked or posted on hacker websites.
Have I Been Pwned
Microsoft Regional Director Troy Hunt developed the useful tool Have I Been Pwned against data breaches. To use the tool, simply follow the link and provide your email or phone number. The tool would cross-check your data to any data breaches recorded. Most of the data is kept up-to-date, so you could use it anytime you feel concerned.
The News Each Day
The News Each Day is a recently developed tool against database leaks. To use this tool, simply input your number and it should automatically search for any internet matches. According to David Johnstone, per The Verge, this tool would generate random phone numbers to hide your real number during each search.
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