Friday, 16 November, 2018

Hackers Sell Bundle Of 81,000 Facebook Messages To Criminal 3rd Party

Getty Images Getty Images
Troy Mann | 03 November, 2018, 17:42

Facebook has not named the extensions it believes were involved but says the leak was not its fault.

Facebook is back in the limelight with another alleged data breach, and this time users' personal messages shared on the platform are claimed to have been compromised.

Hackers stole the private Facebook messages of over 81,000 accounts, a BBC investigation has revealed.

The hackers have also attempted to see the access to the accounts in the past; they reportedly offered 10 cents per account. However, with so many extensions available, malicious parties have many options: compromise existing software through insiders or poor developer security; release their own seemingly benign plug-ins that provide a useful function alongside snooping; or buy extensions from developers and then update them to include malware. Most of the users included in the samples were from Russian Federation and the Ukraine, but the hackers apparently also were able to breach the accounts of users from the USA and the United Kingdom. The advertisement listed online said that full access to personal messages can be obtained at $0.10 per account, and it listed 81,000 of the profiles as samples for buyers. This included chats from different users about a recent Depeche Mode concert, photographs of a recent holiday, complaints about a son-in-law as well as intimate conversation between two lovers on Facebook. Rosen said the social network had notified law enforcement, had the website hosting the Facebook account data had been taken down.

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Data from a further 176,000 accounts was also made available, although some of the information - including email addresses and phone numbers - could have been scraped from members who had not hidden it.

But Digital Shadows told the BBC that this claim was doubtful because it was unlikely Facebook would have missed such a large breach.

Rosen also suggested people check any browsers extensions they've installed and "remove any that they don't fully trust".

The attacks, first reported by the BBC Russian Service, were focused heavily on users in Central and Eastern Europe, with minimum focus on people in the U.S.

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