Written by Cheryl Tan
Facebook’s privacy woes are far from over. In a recent development, security researcher Bob Diachenko and Comparitech have discovered a database of 267,140,436 records on a hacker forum. Each record contains a unique Facebook ID, full name, phone number and a timestamp.
The information was up on the forum for almost two weeks before it was taken down on 19 December 2019. Most of the affected users are based in the United States and the information all appear to be valid, according to Diachenko.
Facebook stopped including phone numbers in their API since April 2018, so it’s possible that the information here was collected before April 2018. Diachenko mentions that there are other possibilities, however, such as a security hole in Facebook’s API or scraped from publicly available profile pages.
A Facebook spokesperson told AFP, “We are looking into this issue, but believe this is likely information obtained before changes we made in the past few years to better protect people’s information.”
To better secure your information on Facebook, it’s always advisable to ensure your privacy settings are set to Friends and to not allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile. These options can be found in the Privacy Settings on Facebook.