Recently, a database with exposed private information of millions of Facebook users has been uncovered. Bob Diachenko, a cybersecurity researcher, has discovered the unprotected database online that contained sensitive information such as users’ full names, phone numbers, and Facebook IDs. Over 267 million people were affected by the data breach, most of them are residents of the US.
The database didn’t even have password protection meaning that third parties could gain unauthorized access to the exposed data.
Starting December 4, the information was available online. For now, it is no longer available, however, on December 12, the data was shared on an Internet forum for hackers and available for download.
The danger of this kind of data leak is that the information that the hackers were available to get can later be used for mass phishing and spam.
The data breach may be a result of illegal scraping, a process of retrieving information from web sites.
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement,
We are looking into this issue, but believe this is likely information obtained before changes we made in the past few years to better protect people’s information.