CYBER SECURITY

Over 419 million Facebook users' phone numbers exposed online

In Summary

•Tech crunch as quoted by the Guardian, The dataset included about 133million  records for users in the US, 18million  records for users in the UK and 50million records for users in Vietnam.

• A spokeswoman for the company also claimed that the actual number of users whose information was exposed was approximately 210m, because the 419m records contained duplicates.

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.
Image: REUTERS

Initially, Facebook users could search for each other using phone numbers or email addresses.

The social media giant in April 2018 scrapped that feature restricting access to user information after personal information for 87 million Facebook users was mined.

On Wednesday, however, a technology firm reported that more than 419 million Facebook IDs and phone numbers stored in an online server were exposed in an open online database.

 

Tech crunch, as quoted by the Guardian, claimed that the leaked dataset included about 133 million records for users in the US, 18million  records for users in the UK and 50 million records for users in Vietnam.

"The database was taken offline after TechCrunch contacted the web host."

Facebook Spokesman whose name was withheld said the database contains information obtained before the platform scrapped of the feature of searching using phone numbers.

"The records were likely amassed using a tool that Facebook disabled in April 2018 in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica controversy," he said.

The spokesperson said that the database has been taken down, confirming that there is “no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised”.