Hackers have reportedly claimed to amassed Facebook users data of 1.5 billion accounts, yet at least one who purchased it got nothing.
Privacy Affairs reports that in later September 2021, a user of a hacker forum announced they had the personal data of 1.5 billion Facebook users. Now, the data is up for sale on that forum.
Hackers can pay for smaller quantities, or all the data. One buy claimed to have been quoted $5,000 USD for the data of 1 million users. The data was obtained included names, emails, locations, genders, phone numbers, and user ID.
Samples presented appear genuine, and when cross-checked do not match known database leaks. However, the seller claimed to have acquired the data through scraping (using bots to gather masses of publicly available data quickly). They claim to represent a group who have been in operation for four years, and sold to over 18,000 clients.
Nonetheless, this public data could be used to target individuals with marketing focused on exploiting them. Personal data could also be used to brute-force passwords, or in social engineering to gain access to accounts and execute other scams.
Privacy Affairs later updated their report noting at least one prospective buyer had paid, but received nothing. The seller at this time did not respond to the accusation. In addition, Facebook being down at this time of writing is not associated with the hacker (again, only employing public scraping). In fact, users who had set their accounts to public are probably safer at this time now the website is down.
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