Personal data of 533 million users 'scraped', not hacked: Facebook

WION Web Team
San Francisco Published: Apr 07, 2021, 09:59 AM(IST)

Facebook Photograph:( Reuters )

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'It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019,' Facebook clarified

A few days after it was revealed that data of over 530 million Facebook accounts have been sold online, the social media giant has issued a clarification about the apparent "hack".

Facebook, on Tuesday, said that hackers had not gotten into the system but had "scraped" personal data of nearly half a billion users in 2019 by taking undue advantage of a feature that is designed to help people find friends in their contact list.

Also read | Data of more than 500 million Facebook accounts posted online: Reports

"It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019," Facebook product management director Mike Clark said in a post.

"This is another example of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally break platform policies to scrape internet services."

The clarification has come a few days after a tech expert revealed that "all 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free," Alon Gal, chief technology officer at the Hudson Rock cybercrime intelligence firm, said Saturday on Twitter.

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As per reports, the leaked data contained sensitive information such as email address, name, phone number, anniversaries and birthdays, relationship status and more, which has now been posted on an online hackers forum, a cybercrime expert and several media reports claimed.

People can also use Have I Been Pwned online tool to check if their numbers or emails were compromised.

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