The ability for Facebook users to determine whether their emails, or phone numbers were in the social network’s recent major data leak, is given by the website “Have I Been Pwned” (https://haveibeenpwned.com/).
As part of this leak, data from more than 530 million people was leaked to an online database; to a large extent this data consisted of phone numbers; Facebook says the data comes from an old 2019 breach, but privacy organizations are investigating the matter.
The social network says that it found this breach and solved the problem over a year and a half ago, however this information has now been posted free of charge in a forum for hackers, making it widely available.
According to the BBC, this database covers 533 million people in 106 countries, according to researchers who analyzed the data. Among them, according to data that have seen the light of day on social media, are 617,722 users from Greece and 152,321 users from Cyprus.
Not all data of these users are available; but, according to Troy Hunt, a security expert who manages “Have I Been Pwned”, 500 million phone numbers and just a few million email addresses were leaked.
Hunt set up the “phone number search” function after an unprecedented “traffic” on his website in the wake of news of the leak. Until recently, only “email” could be searched.
Visitors to the site can put their phone number on the search bar and will be informed if it was among the items included in this leak.
It is worth noting that the database also allegedly had the phone number of the social network’s own founder, Mark Zuckerberg; related “screenshot” uploaded by security researcher Dave Walker.
The “screenshot” also indicates that Zuckerberg was using the messaging platform “Signal”, which uses “end-to-end encryption” and does not belong to Facebook.
It is noted that Facebook has been asking its users to enter phone numbers since 2011, citing security reasons, as it allows “two-factor authentication” to confirm by mobile message the attempt to sign in to an account.
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