Researcher: Data on 267 million Facebook users exposed

A Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users — nearly all U.S.-based — on the open internet. That data was likely harvested by criminals, said researcher Bob Diachenko, an independent security consultant in Kyiv.

The evidence suggests the data was collected illegally, most likely by criminals in Vietnam who may have “scraped” it from public Facebook pages or by somehow obtaining privileged access to the service. Scraping is automated data-harvesting done by bots. A small fraction of the database include details on Vietnam-based users.

In 2018, the social media giant disabled a feature that allowed users to search for one another via phone number following revelations that the political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.

In September, the news site TechCrunch reported that Facebook IDs and phone numbers for more than 400 million users were similarly found exposed online by a researcher.

In March, Facebook disclosed that it had left hundreds of millions of user passwords readable by its employees on internal severs for years after a security researcher exposed the lapse.

Article URL : https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/researcher-data-267-million-facebook-users-exposed-67859285?cid=clicksource_4380645_null_headlines_hed

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