Hackers Post Private Messages Of More Than 81,000 Facebook Accounts Online
FaceBook, the social media platform, has been in a lot of trouble recently for various security issues. A breach in September, compromised nearly 30 million Facebook accounts. In the same month, thousands of private Facebook messages were also put up on sale on an internet forum. Reports state that a Russian service is likely to be behind all of this. Facebook believes that the cause of the attacks are malicious browser extensions. The hackers offered to sell the accounts for 10 cents on an english language forum. However, the advert has now been taken offline.
BBC reports that a user going by the name FBSaler offered to sell information belonging to 120 million Facebook users for 10 cents each. FBSaler also posted a sample of their data on a separate webpage. BBC had the page examined by a cyber security firm, Digital Shadows. The company found that more than 81,000 stolen accounts included private messages. BBC reached out to five Russians whose accounts were compromised to verify the legitimacy of the messages. The company also analysed data from 176,00 additional accounts, which included information like phone numbers and e-mail ids. It’s possible that the data was taken from users who had posted it publicly.
It is not clear who’s responsible for the attack, but BBC says that one of the websites where information was posted appears to have been set up in Saint Petersburg. Facebook says that the hackers were able to obtain the information using browser extensions. Facebook executive Guy Rosen said, “We have contacted browser-makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores.”
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These dangerous extensions come in many forms and are available on various browsers. They can quietly monitor a victim’s activities and send personal details to the hackers. Facebook and browser developers are urging users to check if the extensions they download from the store are genuine. Web browser developers have also taken steps to make sure that extensions like this are removed from their stores.