Public database with information of over 419 million Facebook members discovered
Wednesday, 04 September 2019
Hundreds of millions of phone numbers associated with Facebook accounts have been discovered on an online database, reports the American technology site Techcrunch on Wednesday. The file was not password protected and was accessible to everyone.
Techcrunch does not mention any Belgian users in its article but, according to the site, the database contained more than 419 million user’s data from different countries.
Of these, 133 million come from the United States, 18 million from the United Kingdom and more than 50 million from Vietnam.
Each file on the server contained a unique Facebook identification number and the phone number associated with the account. For more than a year, telephone numbers have no longer been public on the social network, which has restricted access to them. Some files also included the user name, gender and location of the user by country. According to Techcrunch, digital fraud would be possible with all this data.
A researcher found the database and, unable to find the owner, shared his discovery with Techcrunch. The technology site also tried to identify this person, but to no avail. The database was then taken offline.
The data was collected before Facebook closed access to users’ phone data, a social network spokesperson told Techcrunch. It is not known when the data were collected, by whom and for what reason. “The dataset has been deleted and we have no evidence that Facebook accounts have been compromised,” says the American company.