Half a billion people just had their Facebook data leaked

According to a security analyst, the sensitive personal information of more than half a billion Facebook users has been leaked on a popular hacking forum – a potential risk to millions of cryptocurrency traders and dealers who could now be vulnerable to simulated exchanges and other identity-based attacks.

The information collection was discovered by Alon Gal, the CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, who spoke about the leak on Twitter earlier today:

The 533,000,000 Facebook posts were released for free.

In other words, if you have a Facebook account, it is very likely that the phone number used for that account has been lost.

I have yet to see Facebook admit to this absolute neglect of your data. https://t.co/ysGCPZm5U3 pic.twitter.com/nM0Fu4GDY8

– Alon Gal (undercover) (@UnderTheBreach) April 3, 2021

According to Gal, the leak is related to a security vulnerability that was first discovered in 2019. In January 2021, it was revealed that hackers could use the information to gain access to users’ phone numbers; the leak has now expanded to include phone number, Facebook ID, full name, location, previous location, date of birth, email address (sometimes), account creation date, relationship status, and biography.

According to Gala, hackers and scammers can now use this information to engage in various social manipulations and other nefarious activities:

Bad actors will certainly use the information for social engineering, fraud, hacking and marketing purposes.

Users of crypto-currencies are particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Earlier this year, the victim of a mobile phone replacement SIM attack sued T-Mobile for $450,000, and in 2018 Kaspersky Lab found that hackers were able to steal 21,000 ETH worth more than $43 million in 12 months through social engineering attacks.

The data breach is also much larger than the one at Ledger late last year. Shortly after the information was leaked online by more than 270,000 users, they reported receiving threats of extortion and were considering legal action against the e-wallet company.

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