Massive Facebook Data Leak Hack; however, if you can call it that, the good news is that the company reassures its users and investors that didn’t hack it.
The bad and unsettling news is that Facebook says the hackers scraped the profile information from their website. The company stresses there was no hacking of the system itself, but rather that the hackers use a large set of phone numbers linked to the profiles they ultimately made off with.
Based on a review of a sample of the data hacked, nearly every record published to the hacking forum contained that user’s cell number, Facebook ID, name, and gender. While that’s not sufficient to outright steal someone’s identity, it represents an excellent start from a hacker’s perspective.
The company’s formal statement after the massive Facebook Data Leak regarding the matter reads in part as follows:
“This is another example of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally break platform policies to scrape internet services.”
“As a result of the action we took, we are confident that the specific issue that allowed them to scrape this data in 2019 no longer exists.”
A deeper look into the matter reveals that the ‘specific issue’ in question allowing the massive data leak was a feature ‘Contact Importer’ that ostensibly making it easier for friends to find one another on the platform. As it turns out, hackers quickly learned they could abuse the feature, and Facebook ultimately pulled the plug on it, but of course, not before the hackers made off with hundreds of millions of user profiles.
Independent security researchers worldwide were less than impressed by the company’s delayed and somewhat lackluster response. In trying to paint the issue as being old news, they miss the point entirely. More than half a billion of their users saw their data compromised because of a feature the company introduced and then later deactivated when its potential for abuse came to light. For a company as enormous as Facebook, it’s not a good look.