The details of 50 million Facebook accounts were hacked last month and have now appeared for sale on the dark web for $3.90 per account. While this may sound like just another cyber-attack, the hackers may have captured, profiled and downloaded every wall post, picture and video a user had posted to Facebook. Furthermore, the hackers could access linked accounts such as the users’ Messenger, Instagram, Spotify, Tinder and Airbnb, so it is likely that conversations in these apps were also harvested.
This is the type of data hackers, scammers and even advertisers will be lining up to purchase. Hackers and Scammers would be looking to purchase this information to hold users to ransom for any malicious comments they may have made about friends or family, or use of apps such as Tinder when their relationship status isn’t set to Single. Advertisers, on the other hand, would be looking to harvest all of the available data to better understand users and lower advertising costs.
So how did the hack occur? Facebook identified an issue on September 16 when an unusual amount of activity spiked on its servers, but it wasn’t until September 25 that they uncovered the attack on their servers, and which wasn’t fixed until the evening of September 27th.
A number of affected user accounts were infiltrated by hackers who had the ability to post and send messages on the affected accounts, but the hackers appeared to be focused on capturing and downloading as much data as possible about each user.
Facebook has taken the pre-caution to alert all affected users upon their next login to change their password, but the reality is that the hack didn’t disclose this information.
Do you use Facebook? Are you re-considering your use of the network after this breach? Should Facebook give you the ability to delete all posts and messages that are more than a year old on your account?