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Hackers Published Private Messages From 81,000 Facebook Users
03 November 2018, 05:37 | Jodi Jackson
If you're a Facebook user your data may
Facebook has denied hackers gained access to its servers and instead blamed the breach on users who have installed malicious web browser extensions that can store private messages. "It is however, more likely that the published list of 81,000 accounts is all that the cybercriminals have, and they are looking to cause disruption and fear".
Facebook has not named the extensions it believes were involved but says the leak was not its fault.
The incident was first highlighted in September when a user with name FBSaler posted a message on an online forum: "We sell personal information of Facebook users".
How it differs is that Facebook security itself hasn't been compromised - according to the BBC's investigative team, hackers were using browser extensions to collect the data.
In the biggest-ever security breach after Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook in October admitted that hackers broke into almost 50 million users' accounts by stealing their "access tokens" or digital keys. However, with so many extensions available, malicious parties have many options: compromise existing software through insiders or poor developer security; release their own seemingly benign plug-ins that provide a useful function alongside snooping; or buy extensions from developers and then update them to include malware. Now, another report has surfaced online claiming that private messages of 81,000 users are being sold on the internet.
The BBC understands numerous users whose details have been compromised are based in Ukraine and Russian Federation. Compromised data reportedly included chats about a recent Depeche Mode concert, complaints about a son-in-law, intimate conversations between lovers, and photos of a recent holiday as well. "We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts", Facebook executive Guy Rosen told the publication.
Facebook is under the microscope ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light and the social networking platform is trying to deal with every situation carefully. However, according to an outside expert reported by the BBC, it appears likely that at least 81,000 Facebook accounts had their privacy breached.
John Smith did not explain why he had not advertised his services more widely.
When asked about a possible connection to the Russian state or Kremlin-run programs like the Internet Research Agency, a representative for the hacking group only identified as John Smith said there was no connection.
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