In a major breach of privacy, a research firm named ‘Privacy Matters’ has revealed that data of 1.5 billion Facebook users has been found for sale on a hacker forum. According to the research firm’s report, recently the forum had received information such as name, email address, location, gender, phone number and Facebook user ID.
However, the data for sale does not indicate that the seller actually breached Facebook’s systems. Instead, Privacy Matters said the data was allegedly obtained by scraping publicly available data shared by Facebook users.
The fact that the stolen data is publicly available for sale does not make the matter any less serious. The breach is still a concern for the safety of a Facebook user. Stolen data can give hackers clues to hack passwords, allow them to access one-time login codes, intercept phishes, send scam text messages, and more.
Latest reports suggest that the post has been taken down from the hacker forum. Privacy Matters said the data they checked from samples provided on the forums appeared to be legitimate. The vendor of the data claims that their group has been in operation for at least the last four years and has served more than 18,000 customers in that time.
Earlier in the week, Facebook and its affiliates faced a global outage The 6-hour run caused its CEO Mark Zuckerberg to lose $7 billion, and the Silicon Valley firm’s shares fell nearly 5%.