Facebook shares continued to decline all Monday afternoon after the social media platform and its sister companies Instagram and WhatsApp crashed earlier in the day with no official explanation and no end in sight. Several domain registration portals even put Facebook.com up for sale shortly after the apps phased out, leading to speculation among tech and cybersecurity experts that something very shady might be going on at Facebook headquarters.
Now we learn that billions of user accounts have been hacked and their information has been sold on the black market by data scrapers.
According to a privacy report, “the private and personal information of over 1.5 billion Facebook users is being sold on a popular hacking forum, potentially enabling cybercriminals and unscrupulous advertisers to target internet users worldwide” on “the largest and most important Facebook.” Data dump to this day. “
On data protection matters:
Data scrapers sell sensitive personal data to 1.5 billion Facebook users.
The data includes users: name, email, phone number, location, gender and user ID.
The data appears to be authentic.
Personal data obtained through web scraping.
Data can be used for phishing and account hijacking attacks.
Sold data should be new from 2021.
At best, this represents a gigantic invasion of privacy and not a security breach, explained Privacy Affairs.
“Merchants claim to have scraped the data instead of hacking or compromising individual users’ accounts. Scraping is a process of web data extraction or collection in which publicly available data is accessed and organized in lists and databases. While no accounts have technically been compromised, this is of little consolation to those whose data could now fall into the hands of unscrupulous internet marketers and likely cybercriminals, “the website said, adding that” unethical marketers are taking advantage of this could “. Data to bombard specific people or groups of people with unsolicited advertising. Of particular concern is the fact that phone numbers, real locations, and users’ full names are included in the data. In addition, SMS and push notification spam are becoming more common, even though most countries made these practices illegal many years ago. “
All of this happened in the hours following the revelations on CBS News by a former employee turned whistleblower 60 minutes on Sunday evening that the platform knowingly lied to the public about its efforts to combat hate speech, threats of violence and misinformation.
Read the full report here.