Facebook: Personal details of over 61 lakh Indian users leaked online
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Facebook: Personal details of over 61 lakh Indian users leaked online

This data, which was revealed by a hacker on a digital forum, showed information of nearly 61 lakh Indians as well.

Amid news of privacy leaks around the world, a startling revelation showed that personal data of approximately 533 million (53.3 crores) users on Facebook surfaced online. This news comes days after an alleged data of 110 million MobiKwik users.

This data, which was revealed by a hacker on a digital forum, showed information of nearly 61 lakh Indians as well.

According to the forum, the leaked data included Facebook ID numbers, profile names, email addresses, location information, gender details, job data, amongst various other personal knowledge.

Although Facebook has mentioned that the data was 'old', the leak has paved the way for cybercrime and other vulnerabilities.

In a tweet, CTO of security firm Hudson Rock Alon Gal, said "All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free. This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for the account was leaked,"

"I have yet to see Facebook acknowledging this absolute negligence of your data," he further added.

However, Facebook recently affirmed the leak to The Record.

"This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019," a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report late Saturday.

Slowly, data is seen becoming a part of the public domain. However, a danger that lurks with this is the misuse of information that is easily available to cybercriminals. Availability of data with ease has also allowed email or SMS spam, robocalls, extortion attempts, threats and harassment, etc.

The data is reportedly broken up into download units by country.

This incident appears to be the biggest ever social media leak, including five lakh Indian users, which accounts for billions of users.

Reports emerged in January 2021 about 533 million phone numbers that were being exchanged via a bot on encrypted messaging platform Telegram. It showed that this glitch was a part of a Facebook vulnerability that was earlier patched by the social network in 2019.

As stated by another report published in Motherboard, the individual participating in selling a database full of Facebook phone numbers ($20 per contact) allows buyers to look them up using an automated bot on Telegram.

Back then, Gal had also mentioned that: "It is very worrying to see a database of that size being sold in cybercrime communities, it harms our privacy severely and will certainly be used for smishing (the fraudulent practice of sending text messages) and other fraudulent activities by bad actors."

But this time around, the data from Facebook was leaked with a lot more details.

Another report that surfaced in December 2020 also revealed how a glitch/bug exposed intimate information of individuals, including email addresses and birthdays of Facebook-owned Instagram users.

This discovery was first made by Saugat Pokharel, an expert bug hunter from Nepal. The attackers utilised Facebook's Business Suite tool, which is open to any Facebook business account, announced The Verge.

However, a Facebook spokesperson stated that this bug was only accessible for a short period of time during a small test.

(With inputs from IANS)

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