On the 3rd of April, there was huge chaos when a member in a low-level hacking community posted personal information of above 500 million Facebook users. Private details of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries were revealed, comprising over 32 million US users, 11 million UK users, and 6 million Indian users.
It disclosed the email addresses in certain instances with biographies, date of birth, addresses, full names and Facebook IDs. It also included leakage of the details of the owner and founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Regarding the leak, a Facebook spokesperson said that the data was peeled owing to a loophole that the company fixed in 2019. As per Alon Gal, Chief technology officer of cybercrime intelligence company Hudson Rock, who first detected the complete trench of stolen files online on Saturday, that there can be a lot of useful information in the leaked data for the cyberthieves. This will further lead to imitation or scamming of individuals into passing over their login details.
Gal first learned about the security breach in January, when another user on the same malware platform promoted an automated bot that could supply contact information for several of millions of Facebook users for a charge. At the time, Motherboard posted on the bot's life and confirmed that the data was accurate. Currently, the entire dataset has indeed been made available to the public on the hacking website, making it accessible to everyone with basic data knowledge.
During the violation of Facebook’s Presidential election terms, Cambridge Analytica ripped the information of no less than 80 million users. They did it for political advertising to target voters. However, during the 2016 US Presidential election, Facebook promised to put an end to massive data hacking. Gal said there isn't much Facebook can do to protect users affected by the crime from a safety perspective because their information is so far out in public. However, he suggested that Facebook may flag for issues that involve fraud or phishing attempts with their personal information.
Concerning this case, Facebook stated that it could not predict which users may need to be updated and thus does not intend to notify those who were possibly affected. Alternatively, Facebook created a help centre section for users worried about their personal information being compromised. The page explains necessary privacy settings to be done to prevent a data breach. Facebook also stated that it is attempting to eliminate this dataset and will proceed to pursue cybercriminals who abuse their resources wherever necessary actively. The leading social media platform has previously been subjected to innumerable scandals and controversies.
Despite these complaints, Facebook comes up with a greater turnover year-over-year. The company's share is trading on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) with a market capitalization of $889.783 billion. Facebook's income amounts to around $86 billion in 2020, in contrast to $70.7 billion in the 2019 financial year.
It was a very challenging week for data protection. In response to the Facebook disclosure, LinkedIn announced Thursday evening that details from 500 million of its users' profiles has been breached and is currently available for vending on a hacking website.