Well, I guess we all knew it would happen (again) sooner or later. According to Newsweek, 1.5 billion Facebook users personal info has allegedly been put up for sale. They go on to say “A member of a known forum for hackers claimed to be in possession of the information in late September and offered to sell it in chunks to others on the forum, according to a report from Privacy Affairs. One user claimed to have gotten a quote of $5,000 for the information of one million users. The hacker allegedly in possession of the leaked information claimed that it included the following for each Facebook account: name, email address, location, gender, phone number and user ID.”
If this is in fact the case, the smart move is to assume you’re likely one of the hacked and be extra on guard for all of your online accounts. A hacker that already knows so much about you could likely try to use new phishing scams to try to get even more info from you.
Many people may assume the data breach is related to the five-hour outage that FB, IG and WhatsApp experienced today but they would be wrong. Privacy Affairs, a highly regarded privacy research company, posted a notification of the breach 12 hours before the outage even happened. Privacy Affairs went on to say the following:
- It’s alleged that the data was obtained by scraping publicly available data shared by users. Several media outlets and Twitter users misinterpret this to have resulted due to a hack or data breach, which is not the case.
- Data scrapers are selling sensitive personal data on 1.5 billion Facebook users.
- Data contains users’: name, email, phone number, location, gender, and user ID.
- Data appears to be authentic.
- Personal data obtained through web scraping.
- Data can be utilized for phishing and account takeover attacks.
- Sold data claimed to be new from 2021.
- Some prospective buyers claim they were scammed by the seller and no data was delivered after payment was made