Because Facebook controls such a huge amount of user data, the social media giant is an obvious target for hackers looking to steal information. And according to a report in Motherboard this week, an unidentified user on a cybercrime forum is currently selling access to 500 million users’ phone numbers.
According to Motherboard, this private data is available through the use of a bot that allows bad actors to buy “credits” that reveal users’ information. And while the data is supposedly several years old, it still poses an obvious security risk to the tens of millions of users whose information has remained the same.
“It is very worrying to see a database of that size being sold in cybercrime communities, it harms our privacy severely and will certainly be used for smishing and other fraudulent activities by bad actors,” said Alon Gal, co-founder of cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock and the researcher who uncovered the bug. “It is important that Facebook notify its users of this breach so they are less likely to fall victim to different hacking and social engineering attempts.”
Thankfully, Facebook typically responds quickly when an issue of this magnitude is brought to its attention. But then again, if this information is already out there, it may be too late to fully cushion the impact of this hack.
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