Sanyam Jain security researcher is said to have discovered database that contained more than 419 million records linked to Facebook accounts. From all indications the data which includes phone numbers and Facebook IDs and in most cases users’ details were scraped from Facebook.
Meanwhile, it was not mentioned who extracted that information from Facebook’s platform and why the person did so.
The database includes 133 million records of Facebook users in the US, 18 million of people in the UK and 50 million of users in Vietnam. Sanyam Jain, found the database on an exposed server that wasn’t protected with a password. He told TechCrunch he found phone numbers linked to several celebrities.
“This dataset is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“The dataset has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised. The underlying issue was addressed as part of a Newsroom post on April 4th 2018 by the company’s Chief Technology Officer,” he added.
Moreover, people tend to be linked to their phone numbers for a long time. The leak could put them at risk of spam calls and SIM-swapping scams that could possibly endanger their online accounts and this may not be only on Facebook. Remember that an account ID is a unique number associated with a persons account, and it’s not difficult to find the user that the account is linked to.
The tech giant has faced lots of privacy issues in recent time, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that led to a $5 billion Federal Trade Commission fine. There are other cases this year where millions of Facebook and Instagram users’ account details were exposed, and this was not by Facebook itself.