Facebook stumbled again data security issues. This time, a total of more than 267 million phone numbers and user name ( user ID ) Facebook leaked in cyberspace. This data leak was first discovered by Comparitech’s cyber security firm in collaboration with cyber security researcher Bob Diachenko.
Based on their findings, the Facebook telephone number and username have been collected into a database that can be easily accessed. These data are then distributed to the forum where hackers gather.
Although there are actually quite a lot of users who deliberately put their phone number on a Facebook profile page, this database will facilitate the perpetrators of spam and phishing crimes. Researchers do not yet know clearly how this database was created. It is possible that these user data was collected through an illegal method called scraping.
This method is done by hackers by copying data on the internet, in this case, the phone number of the user’s name is copied directly from the Facebook profile page. There are also allegations that the data is collected through the Facebook API, which is a protocol that allows third-party applications to access information belonging to users.
In 2018, after the disclosure of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook tightened access to information provided to third-party applications.
So, if it is true that the data was collected through the Facebook API, then the data should have been collected before 2018 when a new policy was set. Quoted from Mashable, Monday (12/23/2019), although it is not known who did it, the researchers believe that the database was created and compiled by actors in Vietnam.
According to Diachenko, the server’s IP address where the data was stored has now been deleted since December 19, 2019 yesterday. This is not the first time a Facebook user’s telephone number has been leaked in cyberspace. Last September, there were 419 million Facebook cellphone numbers that were leaked on the internet.
The entire cellphone number is accompanied by a number of geographical data about the location where the number is located. In it is known that there are about 133 mobile phone numbers Facebook users from the United States, 18 million numbers from users from the United Kingdom (United Kingdom) and 50 million originating from Vietnam.
While the rest come from various countries in the world. These numbers are found on a server that is not protected by a password. So, anyone can access the mobile number database, along with the user’s location freely.