Saturday, September 7, 2019

Facebook suffers another embarrassing data leak.

Facebook suffers another embarrassing data leak.


The world's largest social network, Facebook has user phone numbers available online. This is the data that allows users to search for each other by phone number. Tons of Facebook users' sensitive data may be exposed online. Instagram users suffered a similar fate earlier this year after Facebook confirmed that Instagram passwords had been exposed online. Facebook has been less successful when it comes to protecting the privacy of its users. Remember the technical flaw that allowed children using messenger app to participate in group chats with strangers?

The latest blow is even more disturbing - your phone number is available online in plain text. A clear example of how unsecured databases compromise the privacy of consumers. The phone numbers can be linked to the names and other profile information of users. Already reported at TechCrunch, it is revealed that multiple databases have records of millions of Facebook users. The investigation showed that the unsecured databases had records of users in the US, UK and Vietnam.

How bad was the leak?

About 419 million have their phone numbers linked to their accounts exposed, not protected by any password and anyone can look it up. Facebook definitely hasn't done so good despite announcing in 2018 that it will protect users' information. The database contains the name, gender and location of users.

The data has been taken down at the moment and there is no proof that they were from Facebook's servers. It looks like a third party company got their hands on the data before Facebook and copied them onto their server. A piece of information the company quietly announced they had deleted. Facebook hasn't made any comments on the situation. With the database believed to be stored outside Facebook's servers, it is unclear how the company would manage and plan a permanent takedown of this data.

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