Facebook is no stranger to computer hacks and leaks, and the company has been the victim of a plethora of high-profile security breaches in recent years. For example, in 2018, the social media giant revealed that it had inadvertently disclosed personal information to more than 50 million users due to a simple bug in the platform code that allowed attackers to access user accounts.
Likewise, in 2020, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg found itself embroiled in another major controversy when it was revealed that thousands of developers had gained access to data from inactive users of the platform, which again caused the discontent of many around the world.
Now, in 2021, the tech giant has experienced a new wave of data breaches again, but this time the number of users whose records were exposed was not 50 million, but rather 500 million. On April 3, Alon Gal, chief technology officer at security firm Hudson Rock, revealed that the sensitive personal information of more than half a billion Facebook users had been posted to a well-attended hacker forum.
To be more specific, the records include phone numbers, full names, locations, birthdays, biographies, and in some cases, the email addresses of more than 553 million local users in a total of 100 countries. Moreover, among the above number, it appears that 32 million users are from the US, and 11 million from the UK.
Finally, this data, which is now circulating online, can jeopardize the savings of millions of traders and cryptocurrency holders, who may now be vulnerable to the SIM swapping and other identity-based attacks that have occurred in recent years.
what should I do?
How exactly does this latest breach pose a threat to individuals’ cryptocurrencies? Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, blockchain security, told Cointelegraph that people who leaked phone numbers should be especially careful, as this information is affected by many instances of fraud in digital assets, adding:
“We are seeing an increase in SIM card exchanges, phishing attacks and other types of cryptocurrency fraud that depend on obtaining victims’ phone numbers. The excellent information about popular usernames of the cryptocurrency gave the opportunity for attackers to attack them.”
He added that people who think their cryptocurrency may be vulnerable need to rethink their current privacy strategies – think twice before storing all of their assets on a central exchange that can use a user’s phone numbers for two-factor authentication. …
Jevans also believes that managing our private keys may be the best way to protect our valuables from phishing attacks using stolen phone numbers. However, he acknowledged that even this might not be enough. “Attackers can still use other means to obtain information about accounts and addresses, but this is more difficult,” he added.
Ben Digels, co-founder and CEO of Constellation, an enterprise-wide scalable blockchain that sets the standard for data protection in transit, told Cointelegraph that Facebook’s latest security move is not surprising, especially since most social media users tend to take a different approach. Thinking – that is, they want their world to be run and organized for their sake.
He added that for most of the users, if they forget their passwords, they can only force the system to reset it for them. Not only that, according to Diggle, most people who use Facebook aren’t fully aware of the size of their digital footprint really – an aspect that Facebook doesn’t make clear either – and adds:
“Those with the cryptocurrency that were on the list might not have to worry about if they didn’t store metadata about their assets and access their Facebook accounts. However, these hackers have become very sophisticated, so I have no idea what tricks they can use. In gathering information about cryptocurrencies and exchanges. ”
However, he believes that as a precaution, most users would be better off changing their passwords on all of their social media accounts, as well as other platforms that share their data with Facebook.
Is decentralization important?
As data leakage continues to occur, more and more people around the world are starting to realize the value of the proposal from decentralized systems, especially since there is not a single point of error.