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Facebook security breach exposed the phone numbers of over 400 million users

By nanoguy · 15 replies
Sep 4, 2019
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  1. When Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook's "privacy-focused" future earlier this year, everyone was right to treat his promises with skepticism. The latest security breach exposed the phone numbers of 419 million users, even after Facebook said it has restricted access to that information over a year ago as part of a policy update.

    Sanyam Jain, a security researcher from the GDI Foundation discovered the dataset on an unprotected server and told TechCrunch he was unable to find the person who scraped that information from Facebook. The good news, however, is that after contacting the hosting company, the databases were taken offline.

    The server contained records of users from all around the world, including 133 million records on Facebook users in the US, 50 million on users in Vietnam, and 18 million on people in the UK. The researcher says each phone number was tied to a user's Facebook ID, which is a long string of numbers that is uniquely associated with a Facebook account. That ID can be used to find out a username, and some of the records included other personal details like name, gender, and location.

    A Facebook spokesperson explained that "this dataset is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers. [...] The dataset has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised."

    Still, the news comes at a time when Facebook is under fire from all directions for privacy breaches and anticompetitive behavior. Eariler this year it was revealed that the company's two-factor authentication system could be used by almost anyone to find your phone number. It's also worth noting that Facebook's sketchy practices go so deep that it knows what apps you use even if you don't have a Facebook account.

    Permalink to story.

  2. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,581   +1,178

    The more false information you feed Facebook the better. The phone number that I used for all of my Burner accounts was a phone number from a throwaway Walmart go phone .

    Good luck to the telemarketers who’d call me .

    Smuckerberg will get nothing from me but memes and off-color jokes.
    psycros likes this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,192   +2,476

    Wow! A fakebook security breach? I am totally shocked! ;)
    Odium, Gmachine, Irata and 1 other person like this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,579   +5,139

    This is why I don't like the concept behind using phones for two factor authentication. But for some reason sites swear by them. Next thing you know, your phone number is shared with 100K spammers (aka: scammers).
    learninmypc, Dimitrios and psycros like this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,821   +2,666

    Internet security is an oxymoron, and not by accident but by design. Security is the enemy of the online data mongers.
  6. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 950   +453

    Cant wait to hear more people with Indian accent congratulating me on winning a cruise trip.
    Better than phone sex, and free.
    Odium, OptimumSlinky and Dimitrios like this.
  7. Stormbreaker

    Stormbreaker TS Enthusiast Posts: 21   +36

    And Facebook is banned now... Oh wait, I must have been dreaming
    Odium and Uncle Al like this.
  8. Irata

    Irata TS Enthusiast Posts: 34   +33

    As this concerns EU members' private data, I wonder if GDPR rules apply.
    Odium and SirDigby like this.
  9. yeeeeman

    yeeeeman TS Maniac Posts: 187   +161

    And facebook keeps telling me to provide phone number to keep account secure. Yeah...
    Odium, Athlonite, Uncle Al and 2 others like this.
  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,680   +4,025

    Yet another great reason for the DOJ to move in and shut them down. These guys are worse than WikiLeaks and need to be reined in or completely eliminated.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,579   +5,139

    So how exactly does this make ones account insecure? This does nothing to make ones account insecure unless they can clone your phone. In order to clone, more is needed than a simple phone number.

    I'd be OK with that.
  12. joe1946

    joe1946 TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +6

    More brain dead Facebook click bait while 100 million get their credit card numbers hacked from Capital One.
    "At the end of July, the FBI and Capital One disclosed that the bank had suffered a massive data breach just a few months before, exposing personal and financial data from more than 100 million customers."
  13. Milest

    Milest TS Member

    The phone number I gave to Facebook was a Google Voice number, so no big deal here.
  14. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,910   +629

    My phone number is 206-555-5436
  15. joe1946

    joe1946 TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +6

    Could people but stuff with a phone number like a credit card number ? Another stupid Facebook click bait.
  16. Athlonite

    Athlonite TS Booster Posts: 137   +35

    Pretty much the same reason I wont give them my number either

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