WAVE OF PHISHING EMAILS LOOM AFTER MASSIVE FACEBOOK LEAK
Once again, the personal information of hundreds of millions of Facebook has surfaced online, following a new data leak that threatens to unleash a wave of sophisticated email scams relying on these stolen contact names, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) warned.
The IT security firm Hudson Rock said it found data of 533 million Facebook users, mostly from the US, in an online forum for hackers, according to a Business Insider report. This information includes phone numbers, email addresses, the names of the cities in which users live and their birthdays.
The leak even contains the phone number of founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, as IT security expert Dave Walker noted. Facebook issued a short response to the report: "This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019," a spokeswoman for social media giant wrote on Twitter.
When personal information like email addresses and phone numbers become widely available to hackers, it makes it easier to trick people into falling for phishing emails because they can be made to look more authentic. In other words, you will probably not send money to a Nigerian prince asking for help, but you may well do so if a would-be friend or relative is asking for emergency funds.
Experts now say users need to stay alert, as "cybercriminals could use the information for spam messaging, phishing email, identity theft, or other nefarious purposes," according to computer security company Norton. Facebook has 2.8 billion users who are active at least once a month, according to recent data.