Last Updated: April 9, 2021
On Saturday, the personal details of more than 500 million Facebook users around the world were published in a public hacker forum.
The personal data was taken from users in 106 countries, 11 million of which are in the UK. The data breach also affected 35 million Facebook users in Italy, as well as 32 million in the US and 28 million in Saudi Arabia.
The leaked data includes every information users entered in their profiles, such as Facebook ID numbers, phone numbers, location, birthdays and even email addresses.
According to Alon Gal, CEO of the cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, the publicly released user details are believed to be a part of an early 2020 Facebook software vulnerability that exposed the phone number linked to every Facebook account. This, in turn, led to the creation of a database containing personal information on 533 million users across the world.
Facebook, however, said that the data was stolen in back 2019 due to security flaws which the company has since fixed.
Be as it may, the collection of personal information has been roaming the internet for days now, putting users at increasing risk from cybercriminals who could use these details to “perform social-engineering attacks or hacking attempts”.
Facebook is the leading social media platform in the country, counting more than 51 million users as of December 2020. If you are a Facebook user (and chances are you are) and worried about data leaks, rest assured. In the event of your personal information being exposed, you will be notified as companies are legally obliged to inform you of data breaches.
For extra peace of mind, you can use certain websites to check whether your email address is connected to any of the leaked accounts.