Personal information for almost 20% of all Facebook users was found posted in a hacking forum. The information was first found and reported by Alon Gal, CTO of a cybercrime intelligence firm named Hudson Rock.
The contents of the leak include phone numbers, addresses, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios and email addresses.
As you would expect, this revelation has put millions of people on edge as there is no telling how many people have had access to the information and how capable hands can utilize it.
According to Gal, the damage is irreversible as the information is already in circulation. Therefore, there is very little Facebook can do besides a formal announcement.
A Facebook spokesperson told Insider that the data was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company patched back in 2019. However, Alon Gal performed a brief investigation and confirmed that many of the 533 million accounts are still active.
“Individuals signing up to a reputable company like Facebook are trusting them with their data and Facebook is supposed to treat the data with the utmost respect,” Gal said. “Users having their personal information leaked is a huge breach of trust and should be handled accordingly,” he continued
Social media user numbers jumped by more than 13% over the past year taking the global total to almost 4.2 billion by the start of 2021. This is to say the world has grown fond and, in many cases, dependent on social media. If it is to be embraced as highly as it is, then cases like these will only serve to further hurt and sour our relationship with social media.