Facebook said Tuesday that hackers “scraped” personal data of some half-billion users back in 2019 by taking advantage of a feature designed to help people easily find friends using contact lists.
A trove of information about more than 530 million Facebook users was shared over the weekend at a hacker forum, prompting the leading social network to explain what happened and call on people to be vigilant about privacy settings.
“It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019,” Facebook product management director Mike Clark said in a post.
“This is another example of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally break platform policies to scrape internet services.”
The data included phone numbers, birth dates, and email addresses, and some of the data appeared to be current, according to US media reports. The stolen data did not include passwords or financial data, according to Facebook.
Scraping is a tactic that involves using automated software to gather up information shared publicly online. All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free,” Alon Gal, chief technology officer at the Hudson Rock cybercrime intelligence firm, said Saturday on Twitter.
He denounced what he called the “absolute negligence” of Facebook. Bad actors will certainly use the information for social engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing,” Gal said on Twitter.
In other news – Gospel singer Dr Tumi and his wife released on bail following the recent arrest
Gospel Musician Dr Tumi and his wife were released on R3000 bail each by the Commercial Crimes court sitting in Palm Ridge on Tuesday.
The couple Dr Tumi, real name Tumisang Makweya and Kgaogelo Makweya handed themselves on Tuesday to the Hawks and were arrested and charged with fraud amounting to R1.5 million. Learn more