In a large-scale user data breach of at least 533 million Facebook accounts on Saturday, hackers also reportedly leaked the personal cell phone number of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and made it easily accessible to the public. The confidential information was compromised back in January.
The Facebook founder’s private information was in the cache released online, which Facebook dismissed as “very old” and likely not a threat to anyone. The data was originally stolen in January by hackers working to crack security breaches on data tied to phone numbers associated with Facebook profiles. The data was released partially on Friday and fully on Saturday on a hacker platform, according to Bloomberg. It is unclear if Zuckerberg will change his number as a result.
The exposed data includes 533 million impacted Facebook users from at least 106 countries. As many as 32 million records were leaked from the US alone, and nearly 11 million from the UK, and 6 million users’ data was leaked from India. This confidential information, in some instances, included other details such as the location, full names, birth dates, complete bio, Facebook IDs, and even the email addresses of the Facebook users.
A Facebook spokesperson, in a statement to Insider, said that the data was dumped by Facebook Inc. in 2019 due to a vulnerability patch and was a couple of years old. However, the CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock Alon Gal who first identified the breach reportedly said that the data st9ill provided valuable customer information to the cybercriminals.
Meanwhile, Facebook dismissed the severity of the leak saying that the data was very old, it however could be utilized by the bad actors to commit identity theft or fraud.
Previous Facebook privacy breaches include the much-publicized Cambridge Analytica saga. In that incident, personal data from over 87 million Facebook users was improperly obtained by the political data-analytics firm.
Facebook was hit with a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission as part of a settlement over claims the company mishandled user data.
The company has vowed to clamp down on data breaches. In a post on its website in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, it said it would take action on potential past abuse and put stronger protections in place to prevent future abuse.