Leaked data from 533 million Facebook users across the world was posted online. Information security experts believe the leaked information will be used for cybercrimes by bad actors.
Data from hundreds of millions of Facebook users was leaked online on Saturday, including personal information such as phone numbers, full names, and email addresses. The leaked data from 533 million users in 106 countries was posted on an obscure hacking forum.
The data is believed to be more than a year old, but security experts say the information could still be used by criminals to commit identity fraud. That data included records on 32 million users in the United States, 11 million users in the United Kingdom and six million users in India.
How did Facebook respond to the leak?
Facebook has downplayed the significance of the leak.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” Facebook spokesperson Liz Shepherd said in a tweet. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
Israeli information security and cybercrime expert Alon Gal has expressed skepticism towards Shepherd’s explanation of the leak.
“Bad actors will certainly use the information for social engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing,” Gal tweeted about the breach.
Has Facebook user data been leaked in the past?
This is not the first time Facebook user data has been leaked on the web.
In December 2019, 267 million Facebook User IDs, phone numbers and names were left exposed, according to Ukrainian cyber threat researcher Bob Diachenko. He believed the data was harvested by cyber criminals.
In 2018, it was revealed that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected the personal data of millions of Facebook users. In July 2019, Facebook was fined $5 billion (€4.2 billion) by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for data privacy violations.