Facebook violation: was my phone number stolen? Here’s how to get | check science & tech news
People can now verify that their phone numbers are among the data that was stolen from more than 500 million Facebook users – including 11 million from the UK – and leaked online.
Facebook has confirmed that the data is related to a historical breach related to a technical bug that the company “found and fixed” in August 2019, although data protection authorities are now asking additional questions.
People can now seek the independent and widely respected Have i been pwned? Site that monitors hacking forums for dumps to see if their numbers are among those listed in the huge dataset.
Searchers should include the country code in their query so that in the UK it starts with 4479 … and so on.
Troy Hunt, the security researcher who runs the service, said he had seen “near-unprecedented traffic” in the past few days, prompting him to include the phone number lookup feature alongside the regular email address one.
Mr Hunt said the Facebook data dump “changed” its thinking on why only email addresses should be given instead of phone numbers.
“There are over 500 million phone numbers but only a few million email addresses, so more than 99% of people got a ‘miss’ when they should have got a ‘hit’. [when searching to see if their data was compromised],” he explained.
However, Mr Hunt criticized the company by saying, “Facebook has yet to take a clear position on this. They have indicated that an incident in 2019 is the main cause, but that does not go far enough to explain the data in circulation . ” “He added, noting that there were several different records floating around on many hacking forums.
“There is an information vacuum right now, and this vacuum is being filled by a lot of speculation.”
In 2018, the social media giant turned off a feature that users were allowed to use after revealing that the The political company Cambridge Analytica had accessed information from up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.
In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database of names, phone numbers, and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users – almost all of them in the United States – on the Internet.
In a statement on the recent incident, Facebook said: “This is old data that was reported back in 2019.
“We found and fixed this problem in August 2019.”
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