Unsecured Facebook server leaks phone numbers of 419 million users

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A security researcher has discovered databases containing more than 419 million records of hundreds of millions of Facebook users, including their personal phone numbers and Facebook IDs and in some cases, users’ names, genders and countries – stored in an unprotected server.

Security researcher, Sanyam Jain, discovered the Facebook leak.

Latest Facebook Leak

The database included 133 million records on Facebook users in the U.S., 50 million on users in Vietnam, and 18 million on people in the U.K. This means that if you’re living in Australia or Japan, your data was most likely not affected by this Facebook leak. Jain also found phone numbers linked to celebrities on the rogue server.

Facebook Privacy Scandals Cafe

Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2019.

A spokesperson countered the claims of the latest Facebook leak by saying that the server was promptly pulled down. Apparently, the issue was addressed as part of a Newsroom post on April 4, 2018, by Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer.

“Malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public profile information by submitting phone numbers or email addresses they already have through search and account recovery. Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way. So we have now disabled this feature,” Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer wrote in the post.

The records were most likely harvested using a tool that was disabled a year ago following the Cambridge Analytical Scandal. Official stats revealed that 87 million profiles were shared on Aleksandr Kogan’s ‘thisisyourdigitallife’ app.

Facebook’s Untrustworthiness

While the information from the Facebook leak might be outdated, there is a high-risk of spam calls. Not to mention, it could also lead to the rise of SIM-swapping scams where malicious hackers trick mobile operators into giving them control of a user’s phone number.

Facebook is in the midst of several privacy issues. Two months ago, Facebook agreed to end its probe into privacy issues with a $5 billion payout. Last year in October, the social media giant revealed hackers stole access to 30 million accounts.

In August, Facebook was back in scrutiny for paying outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its service.

Christy Gren
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, Business Leaders and Innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B.

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