As per a BBC report, the hackers appear to have found a way to steal the private messages of thousands of Facebook users — 81,000 to be exact. While most of the compromised accounts are from Russia and Ukraine, some are also from US, UK, Brazil, and other nations.
This revelation originally comes from the BBC Russian Service. The notorious actors claim that they have the details of about 120 million accounts. To steal the information, the well-known method of malicious desktop browser extension was used.
As per Facebook, one of the extensions used closely-monitored users’ activity, collected the details and messages, and sent the information to hackers. Facebook has claimed that the data theft wasn’t the company’s fault.
The hackers have also attempted to see the access to the accounts in the past; they reportedly offered 10 cents per account. However, the advertisement is now offline.
The incident was first highlighted in September when a user with name FBSaler posted a message on an online forum: “We sell personal information of Facebook users. Our database includes 120 million accounts.”
After performing some investigation, security firm Digital Shadows confirmed that about 81,000 profile had private messages. Further, it was found that email addresses and phone numbers could have been extracted from 176,000 more accounts.
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BBC also contacted some Russian Facebook users and confirmed that the private messages were theirs.
While the data leak might not be entirely Facebook’s fault, in the wake of Cambridge Analytica scandal it surely sounds like a bad news for Facebook.