Facebook and its associated platforms Instagram and WhatsApp have gone down, and the company has not disclosed any reasons for the failure. The social media platforms became inaccessible shortly after details of a massive breach were posted on security forums.
The information of more than 1.5 billion Facebook users could have been breached by hackers on Monday after a data dump with their personal information was put up for sale in a hacker forum, potentially allowing cybercriminals and spam mailers to target Facebook Attack users worldwide.
The dump would be the largest and most significant breach of Facebook since an earlier data dump in 2021 that affected 500 million users.
data protection, a security news website, reports that data scrapers are selling sensitive personal information of 1.5 billion Facebook users. Including usernames, emails, phone numbers, locations, gender identification and user ID. According to the website, the “data appears to be authentic”. data protection made it clear that the data breach is “completely independent of the global Facebook failure”.
Corresponding data protection, a user of a well-known hacker forum announced at the end of September that he claimed to be in possession of the personal data of more than 1.5 billion Facebook users. The user has advertised the data for sale on the platform and is looking for potential buyers for the entire landfill or in smaller quantities.
“A potential buyer claims to have quoted $ 5,000 for data from one million Facebook user accounts.” data protection reported, adding that the user selling the hack presented samples of the data that appeared authentic.
The comparison with known Facebook database leaks resulted in no matches, which means that the sample data provided is unique at first glance and is not a duplicate or resale of a previously known data breach or scrap.
The seller claims to represent a group of web scrapers who have been around for at least four years and claims to have had over 18,000 customers during that time.
The hacker claims to have obtained the data by scraping Facebook instead of hacking or compromising individual users’ accounts. Scraping is a method by which data can be accessed and collected through public channels and organized in a database.
Although the users’ personal accounts were not breached, the information collected still poses a security threat to the 1.5 billion affected users.
It is unclear whether the data breach was related to the failure of Facebook and its related applications.
Reuters reports that the disruption hit Facebook’s platforms a day after a whistleblower accused the company of prioritizing profits rather than censoring hate speech and misinformation related to the pandemic.
Facebook could not be reached because the domain name system did not direct users to the right place. Facebook itself controls the relevant settings.
Security experts who followed the situation said the outage was likely caused by a configuration error that made directions to the Facebook servers unavailable. This could be the result of an internal error, although sabotage by an insider would theoretically be possible.
Outside hack was considered less likely. On the other hand, a massive denial of service attack that could overwhelm one of the most popular websites in the world would require either coordination between powerful criminal groups or a very innovative technique.
Facebook acknowledged that users were having problems accessing its apps, but did not provide information about the nature of the problem or how many were affected by the outage.