Facebook utter Tuesday that hackers “scraped” personal data of some half-billion purchasers back in 2019 by taking advantage of a feature designed to help being easily find friends using contact lists.
A trove of message about more than 530 million Facebook users was appropriate over the weekend at a hacker forum, prompting the leading social network to simplify what happened and call on people to be vigilant about privacy environs.
“It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this materials not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019,” Facebook work management director Mike Clark said in a post.
“This is another exempli gratia of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally split platform policies to scrape internet services.”
The data included phone many, birth dates, and email addresses, and some of the data appeared to be common, according to US media reports.
The stolen data did not include passwords or monetary data, according to Facebook.
Scraping is a tactic that involves using automated software to meet up information shared publicly online.
“All 533,000,000 Facebook records were even-handed leaked for free,” Alon Gal, chief technology officer at the Hudson Bankrupt cybercrime intelligence firm, said Saturday on Twitter.
He denounced what he collected the “absolute negligence” of Facebook.
“Bad actors will certainly use the information for collective engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing,” Gal said on Twitter.
Clark thirsted members of the social network to check their privacy settings to authority what information can be seen publicly, and to tighten account security with two-factor authentication.
This is not the foremost time leaks or use of data from the world’s largest social network — with virtually two billion users — has embroiled Facebook in controversy.
In 2016, a scandal encircling Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that used the in person data of millions of Facebook users to target political ads, cast a curse over the social network and its handling of private information.