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Facebook experienced a large-scale online data breach in 2019, resulting in hackers obtaining personal information of some 533 million Facebook accounts. The data re-emerged online over the weekend.
As was first reported by Business Insider, Facebook IDs, names, locations, email addresses and phone numbers belonging to hundreds of millions of Facebook users around the world has been leaked online – for free.
Hackers behind the 2019 breach originally had the data available for sale.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
While the data may be a couple of years old, the fact remains that personal information was obtained and has now been re-shared, potentially leaving users who have not changed and updated personal data at risk. The phone numbers, in particular, are of concern as cyber criminals are able to use them for two-factor authentications.
Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, took to Twitter over the weekend to unveil the severity and wide-reaching nature of the breach. The information included a long list of countries and the number of users affected in each. Among them: 7.3 million affected Facebook users in Australia, 32.3 million in the USA, and 11.5 million in the UK.
How to check if your phone number has been compromised
Website TheNewsEachDay.com has provided a simple form for concerned Facebook users to see if their phone number is among those that have been shared online.
Firefox also has a check system, this one focusing on user emails. You can visit Firefox Monitor HERE to see if your email address has been a part of a data breach. This writer tried it out and, troublingly, received the following result:
“This email appeared in 4 known data breaches.
- Zynga (breach added 19 December 2019)
- Canva (breach added 9 August 2019)
- Dropbox (breach added 31 August 2016)
- Tumblr (breach added 19 May 2016)“
Yeah, guess it’s time for me to create new and more intricate passwords across the board.