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Facebook denounces “malicious actors” after the leak of 530 million accounts

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The hacking of data on Facebook of more than 530 million users, which was in part published on a hacker forum last weekend, is the act of “malicious actors”, denounced Facebook on Tuesday, which urges its members to better protect their accounts. This data comes from a leak that dates back to 2019 and “has been resolved,” said Mike Clark, a director of the social network in a statement.

He denounced the method of “scraping” or looting Facebook profiles via software that mimics the functionality of the network that helps members easily find friends and thus scrapes contact lists.

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“It should be understood that the malicious actors obtained this data not by hacking our systems but by looting them on our platform before September 2019”, indicates the person in charge of Facebook. This practice “often relies on automated software to extract public information from the internet which can then be distributed on forums like this.”

A data breach not new

The publication of these phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth on a hacker forum was spotted on Saturday by the Business Insider site. “The data did not include financial information, health, or passwords,” assured Facebook, which said it was “convinced that the specific problem that allowed this data to be recovered in 2019 no longer exists”.

“Even if we cannot always prevent the recirculation or the appearance of such datasets, we have a dedicated team that is focused on this work”, adds the manager of Facebook who urges users to regularly check their sharing settings. of their pages.

Read more: How Facebook got tricked by its own data

“We also recommend that users perform regular privacy checks (…) including who can see certain information on their profile and activate two-step authentication,” advises the social network.

This is not the first time that data from millions of users of the first social network – which has nearly 2.8 billion monthly users – has been put online. Revealed in 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a British firm that hijacked the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users for political propaganda purposes, had permanently tarnished the reputation of the social network on the issue of data privacy.

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