TThe phone numbers and email addresses of hundreds of millions of Facebook users were discovered again in a hacker forum over the Easter weekend. “This is old data that was already reported in 2019. We discovered the problem and fixed it in August 2019,” a spokeswoman for the network wrote online on Twitter.
Facebook data leak: Mark Zuckerberg’s phone number was also hacked
IT security firm Hudson Rock found data from 533 million Facebook users online. This also included the names of the cities they lived in, as well as their birthdays. The data collection also included the phone number of founder and president Mark Zuckerberg, as discovered by IT security expert Dave Walker. Data from co-founders Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskowitz is also included. As early as 2019, the phone numbers of 420 million users surfaced on the Internet after the search for friends functionality was abused to access data.
Facebook data can be accessed by scraping
Phone numbers stored on Facebook were not publicly visible, but could be customized and widely accessed for individual users via automated queries – the so-called scraping. The Facebook function aims to quickly find friends on the Internet who know their phone number. However, data thieves have designed programs that allow them to find out which Facebook users they belong to by entering phone numbers. This violated Facebook’s rules, but it was technically possible until the online network finally stopped the function. Once this data is exploited, it is difficult to prevent it from spreading on the Internet. Even if it is, as Facebook notes, “very old data,” many people keep the same email addresses and phone numbers for years. (With materials from dpa.)