Popular Social Media platform, Facebook has revealed that hackers took advantage of a feature designed to help people easily find friends using contact lists and scraped personal data of more than half-billion users back in 2019 by. But the social media platform said on Tuesday that it has blocked the opening by which hackers stole data belonging to the users.
A trove of information about more than 530 million Facebook users was shared over the weekend at a hacker forum, prompting the leading social network to explain what happened and call on people to be vigilant about privacy settings.
This is not the first time leaks or use of data from the world’s largest social network, with nearly two billion user has embroiled Facebook in controversy.
In 2016, a scandal around Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that used the personal data of millions of Facebook users to target political ads, cast a shadow over the social network and its handling of private information.
“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 was quoted as saying in a post.
According to www.techxplore.com, Clark said this is another example of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally break platform policies to scrape internet services.
According to reports, the data scrapped included phone numbers, birth dates, and email addresses. But Facebook said the stolen data did not include passwords or financial data.
Scraping is a tactic that involves using automated software to gather up information shared publicly online.
Meanwhile, Clark has called on Facebook users to check their privacy settings to control what information can be seen publicly, and to tighten account security with two-factor authentication.