More than 267 million names, phone numbers and user IDs of Facebook users were discovered on the dark web, cybersecurity researchers said Thursday.
For the past two weeks, the massive trove of sensitive information was exposed to anyone who wanted to see it, according to a joint report from tech site Comparitech and researcher Bob Diachenko.
The confidential records were first made available on Dec. 4, according to the researchers’ timeline, and made their way to a hacker forum eight days later.
They were taken down Thursday after Diachenko informed its internet service provider about the unsecured information — but not before sitting as a download in the hacker forum for a week.
The database belongs to “a criminal organization” in Vietnam “according to the evidence,” the researchers said.
Most of the affected users — 267.1 million in total — were American.
It is not yet clear how the information was accessed, but Comparitech suggested it may have been collected through “scraping,” a process by which bots copy and collect data from web pages. – READ MORE