The data of some 267 million Facebook users including the names, phone numbers and user IDs were reportedly exposed on the open Internet for around two weeks.
Bob Diachenko, a researcher at Ukrainian cyber security site “Security Discovery,” reported finding a leak of personal information of Facebook users, news media including The Associated Press said Saturday. “The database, which Diachenko discovered with a search engine on Dec. 14, was freely accessible online for at least 10 days beginning Dec. 4,” the article quoted him as saying. According to the researcher, the database was available online from Dec. 4 to Dec. 19. The seemingly leaked data was “nearly all U.S.-based” and only a fraction of it included “details on Vietnam-based users.”
“Diachenko said someone downloaded the database to a hacker forum two days before he discovered it so it may have been shared among online thieves,” The Associated Press said. He claimed that the data seemed to have been collected “most likely by criminals in Vietnam” through automated “data-harvesting done by bots.” In September, the social media giant came under fire when the data of some 400 million users were found exposed online. Also in March, it stirred a controversy by acknowledging that it left hundreds of millions of users’ passwords on internal servers without encrypting them.
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