Facebook IDs, phone numbers, full names, locations, previous places, birth dates, account creation data, relationships, bios, and a few email addresses are among the stolen information. The database has information on 106 countries’ customers, including 32 million in the United States, 35 million in Italy, 19.8 million in France, 11 million in the United Kingdom, and around 10 million in Russia.
“This is old information from the year 2019. In August of this year, we discovered and resolved this problem,” in a tweet, Facebook’s Director of Strategic Response Communications, Liz Bourgeois, said.
One of the common fallacies in the digital community is that exposed or stolen data has a shelf life beyond which it can no longer constitute a security concern.
Users should not, however, rely on this. The data security incident at Ashley Madison is a good example of this. In 2015, attackers stole and released the personal information of millions of individuals on the internet. Customers who had been harmed by the security incident were targeted again in 2020, this time through new blackmail efforts.
Breach of data security and data leaks can have long-term ramifications for victims. Once personal data has been taken, it can be used to impersonate people or trick them repeatedly. Users recycle and reuse personal information on online sites, which attackers are aware of. Even if you’ve been a victim or target of theirs before, that doesn’t imply you’re safe.
“Even if this isn’t the first data leak in the large social network’s history, it certainly warrants users’ attention,” said Bogdan Botezatu, Bitdefender’s Director of Threat Research and Reporting.
Given that this data is now freely available to the entire public,” Botezatu concluded, “it is logical to expect the worst.” “Even if this new security breach of user privacy does not include highly sensitive information, it provides attackers with new and lucrative opportunities. If consumers can’t trust firms to keep their data safe, then it’s time to rethink our online habits and limit the information we post on social media platforms.”
Criminals can use this information to undertake targeted social engineering assaults. If you haven’t changed your Facebook account’s phone number in 2019, be on the lookout for unwanted phone calls or text messages requesting personal information.
It’s important to remember that social networking platforms don’t have a perfect security mechanism. Anything you post and submit on your profile can be used to track you down among millions of other users. Cybercriminals can start phishing attacks using extracted data and public information, which can result in account hijacking, identity theft, and fraud.