After being criticized for the confidentiality of its WhatsApp application, Facebook is again facing an ordeal that calls into question the security of several million platform users. Indeed, the company created would have allowed cybercriminals to obtain the telephone numbers of many users following a security breach dating from 2019.
Phone Numbers Sold On Telegram
According to cybersecurity expert Alon Gal, the flaw in question has been solved by Facebook. However, it served as a gateway for hackers who could access the data of approximately 533 million accounts. Your phone number could therefore be on the list of information sold on Telegram by these hackers. According to BFMTV, the stolen data is used by Facebook to strengthen account security.
If you use this social network, you have probably already been confronted with a request for double identification (by e-mail and by SMS code) on your account. Thus, for the past few weeks, hackers have been marketing the numbers associated with hacked Facebook accounts on the encrypted Russian Telegram messaging system. The purpose of this operation has yet to be indicated. However, we know that each issue is sold for 20 dollars.
A discount on the unit price from a batch of 10,000 numbers purchased would even be offered. According to the American media that revealed this information, Motherboard, a bot active on this social network, would be responsible for this hack. The latter was programmed to retrieve the phone numbers of Facebook users through their identifiers. The reverse is also possible, namely obtaining a Facebook ID via a site from the URL of an account.
News Confirmed By Facebook
Motherboard said the bot was put online on Telegram in January 2021. However, the data used dates back two years, i.e. 2019. Unfortunately, many Facebook users keep their phone numbers for an extended period. It is, therefore, information that remains valid for most of them and that could be used by people with bad intentions.
Therefore, this robot holds the coordinates of several million Internet users who are distributed in Canada, the United States, Australia, France, as well as in other countries of the world. The Facebook group has also confirmed the rumors, indicating that the accounts concerned were those created before the correction of the flaw.
Similarly, the company Hudson Rock has published test images showing that it is possible to find the identifier of a user from his number and vice versa. Facebook claims, however, that following the patch, the bot does not have access to phone numbers entered on its platform after 2019.
This Bot Recovered Millions Of Numbers Associated With Facebook
Even if the social network behind this leak reassures users about the security of their data entered after 2019, it goes without saying that this hack affects most of them. As a reminder, Facebook had around 27.5 million monthly active users in France in 2019. Especially since, for several years, the social network has encouraged its users to associate a telephone number with their account.
This serves as a means of identification and also makes it possible to recover the report if the password is forgotten. However, the most informed users know that the social network also uses numbers to do business. Moreover, targeted advertising is a system that relies, in part, on this data. However, this revelation risks tarnishing Facebook’s image because its users may no longer trust it to secure their data.
In India, 19 million telephone numbers would be affected, compared to 32 million in the United States. And if initially, they made it possible to secure user accounts; they could be used to steal identities. The resale of numbers has taken place on Telegram; it is now up to this messaging service to end any malicious or fraudulent actions.
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