533 Million Facebook Users’ Personal Data Leaked Online
On Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, the personal data of more than half a billion Facebook users worldwide was leaked online for free in a hacker forum. The data dates back to 2019 and was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in August of that year. The leak includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of 533 million Facebook users, including full names, emails, phone numbers, Facebook IDs, locations, birth dates, and bio descriptions.
A user belonging to a low-level hacking forum posted the data online for free and where it can be downloaded in packages by country. The exposed data belongs to Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records of users in the U.S., 11 million users in the U.K., and 6 million users in India.
Facebook Continues to Pose a Risk to User’s Identities
This is not the first time leaked data belonging to Facebook has been exposed, and it probably won’t be the last.
- How to Protect Yourself on Facebook
- What We Can Learn from Facebook Data Breaches
- Facebook Exposes Data of 419 Million Users
- Facebook Exposes 267 Million User Credentials
Although Facebook claims the data is from 2019, keep in mind that data that is two years old is still fresh data in a hacker’s eyes. The type of data included in this Facebook leak (phone numbers, birthdates, and emails) are often not updated (or in some cases can’t be updated) and can be used in fraud attempts such as vishing, phishing and credential stuffing once it has been exposed by fraudsters on the Dark Web.
It only takes just two pieces of PII for a bad actor to commit synthetic identity theft. It is important to safeguard your information by updating your passwords — making sure you do not use the same password on multiple accounts and keeping them safely stored in a password manager. Turning on two-factor authentication further protects you from account takeover attacks.
Social Media data leaks CAN POSE UNIQUE RISKS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL
There isn’t a one-size fits all approach when it comes to understanding the severity of a data breach and its associated risks. Sontiq’s new breach intelligence capability, BreachIQ, provides personalized, recommended actions. The in-depth approach takes into consideration all the various types of identity theft that could result from stolen Personally Identifiable Information (PII).