Facebook says hackers ‘scratched’ data from 533 million users in 2019 leak

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Facebook said on Tuesday that hackers ‘scratched’ the personal data of around half a billion users in 2019 by taking advantage of a feature designed to help people easily find friends using contact lists. .

A wealth of information on more than 530 million Facebook users was shared over the weekend on a hacker forum, prompting the main social network to explain what happened and call on people to be vigilant about privacy settings.

“It is important to understand that the malicious actors obtained this data not by hacking into our systems, but by retrieving it from our platform before September 2019,” Facebook Director of Product Management Mike Clark said in a statement. message.

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“This is another example of the adversarial relationship between technology companies and fraudsters who intentionally violate platform policies to take down Internet services.”

The data included phone numbers, dates of birth and email addresses, and some of the data appeared to be up to date, according to US media.

The stolen data did not include passwords or financial data, according to Facebook.

Scratching is a tactic of using automated software to collect publicly shared information online.

“The 533,000,000 Facebook records have been released for free,” Alon Gal, chief technology officer at the Hudson Rock cybercrime intelligence firm, said on Twitter Saturday.

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He denounced what he called the “absolute negligence” of Facebook.

“Bad actors will definitely use this information for social engineering, scam, hacking and marketing purposes,” Gal said on Twitter.

Clark urged members of the social network to check their privacy settings to control what information can be seen publicly and to strengthen account security with two-factor authentication.

This isn’t the first time that leaks or the use of data from the world’s largest social network – with nearly two billion users – has drawn Facebook into controversy.

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In 2016, a scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that used the personal data of millions of Facebook users to target political ads, cast a shadow over the social network and its handling of private information.


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