Tuesday, April 20

how hackers got your phone numbers

After more than 500 million phone numbers have been compromised by one of its databases, Facebook explains this controversy and tries to reassure its users.

533 million phone numbers compromised due to a security breach on Facebook. This is the great information that marked the start of the week in the digital sector. In this regard, the firm founded by Mark Zuckerberg has issued a statement to explain this case.

First of all, let us remember that this is a serious matter. The case in question affects France in particular – around 20 million numbers concerned in the country. That is why it is important to verify if your data has been exposed. If this is the case, it is important to take the necessary steps to remedy it.

If your name appears on this list, you may become the target of fraudulent text messages and abusive sales canvassing. To protect yourself from it, changing your phone number while keeping your mobile plan can be a good solution. Worse, some users could be victims of SIM swapping. A technique used by hackers to impersonate a person and access their sensitive personal data.

You will understand, it was therefore important for Facebook to explain its version of the facts.

Not piracy, but scraping

« It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not by hacking into our systems, but by extracting it from our platform before September 2019.“, We read in the press release of the web giant.

Facebook thus evokes a method of scraping . The verb ” scrap “In English literally means”to scratch“. In this context, the termscrapingrather designates a technique allowing to extract large quantities of information from a website automatically thanks to computer programs designed for this.

This is another example of the enduring and antagonistic relationship that tech companies have with fraudsters who intentionally violate platform policies.[…]. Thanks to the measures we have taken, we are confident that the specific problem that allowed them to extract this data in 2019 no longer exists.

A Facebook function questioned

The firm focuses on the tool at the origin of this leak. She believes that malicious hackers have recovered the phone numbers from an option to import contacts on the social network Facebook. “This feature was designed to help people easily find their friends to connect with on our services using their contact lists.», We underline at the company.

The latter promises that the offending software has been updated as soon as the flaw was identified, in September 2019. However, thanks to the flaw, the fraudsters “were able to query a set of user profiles and obtain a limited set of information from the public profiles of those users. This information did not include financial information, health information or passwords. ».

A somewhat meager consolation and which will undoubtedly not restore the image of Facebook regularly pointed out for its management of the personal data of its users. Witness the controversy around WhatsApp.

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