Following a recent leak, personal information from about 1.5 billion Facebook users around the world was purportedly placed up for sale.
According to a report from Privacy Affairs, a member of a well-known hacker site claimed to have the material in late September and offered to sell it in chunks to others on the forum. One user claimed to have received a $5,000 quotation for 1 million user information.
According to the user who purportedly had access to the leaked data, each Facebook account’s information comprised the following: name, email address, location, gender, phone number, and user ID.
According to Privacy Affairs, the samples shared by the user appear to be genuine. The outlet also compared the material to past leaks and discovered that the supposed information was a genuine fresh leak, rather than old data being resold. According to the hacker, he was in command of a four-year-old data scraping enterprise with 18,000 clients.
However, several forum users claimed that after donating money to the initial poster, they had received nothing in return. This could indicate that the supposed data leak was a hoax or that the alleged data owner was behind schedule.
If the information was obtained by a data scraper, no genuine accounts are likely to have been hacked at this time. If the data was obtained by the correct kind of cybercriminals, accounts may still be accessed. It’s also feasible that marketing operations may buy it and use it to target people with specific adverts.
In the spring, a similar data breach happened, affecting 533 million individuals from 106 countries. Business Insider utilized Facebook’s password reset feature to partially check the phone numbers associated with specific emails, and found the information to be legitimate.
This latest claimed intrusion occurs at the same time that Facebook and its subsidiary platforms, Instagram and WhatsApp, have been experiencing a long-term outage. Early Monday, users all over the world began reporting their inability to access the services. The sites remained unreachable as of just before 4 p.m. ET.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook said on its official Twitter account. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Facebook’s problems, according to Internet researcher Doug Madory, may have been caused by Domain Name System route withdrawals, which prevented browsers from properly translating web addresses into IP addresses.