Data breach at Facebook left nearly 270 million usernames, phone records visible
As the year draws to a close, Facebook faces yet another grave security meltdown. Records of over 700 million Facebook users have been exposed so far this year on various platforms, including Amazon servers. It has now emerged that a Vietnam-based entity scraped the data of a further 267 million Facebook users, from names to phone numbers.
On December 9th, the data was made publicly available on an Elasticsearch server. Within 3 days, it was available for download on a separate hacker forum. Fortunately, Researcher Bob Diachenko spotted the breach on the 14th, immediately notifying ISPs. The server has been since taken down.
This isn't the first time this year that Elasticsearch has come into the spotlight. Earlier, a massive 4 TB data dump was briefly available on the platform with social media and personal information for over 1.2 billion people. The data seemingly originated from data brokerage firms, including California data broker People Data Labs.
Facebook has been under extensive scrutiny over the past few year, with questions raised about its Libra cryptocurrency platform, privacy concerns, and ongoing security issues like this breach. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to testify before the US Congress last year in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.