533 million Facebook users’ personal data have been leaked online

A user in a hacking forum on Saturday published the phone numbers and personal data of nearly 533 million Facebook users for free online.

The exposed data includes personal information of over Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and – in some cases – email addresses.

A Facebook spokesperson told Insider that the data was scrapped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019.

While a couple of years old, the leaked data could provide valuable information to cybercriminals who use people’s personal information to impersonate them or scam them into handing over login credentials, according to Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, who first discovered the entire trough of leaked data online on Saturday.

“A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks [or] hacking attempts,” Gal told Insider.

Gal first discovered the leaked data in January when a user in the same hacking forum advertised an automated bot that could provide phone numbers for hundreds of millions of Facebook users in exchange for a price. Motherboard reported on that bot’s existence at the time and verified that the data was legitimate.

Now, the entire dataset has been posted on the hacking forum for free, making it widely available to anyone with rudimentary data skills.

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Thomas Burn is a blogger, digital marketing expert and working with Techlofy. Being a social media enthusiast, he believes in the power of writing.

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