Private messages of 120 mn Facebook users hacked, says BBC report

Facebook hacked

Hackers appear to have compromised and published private messages from at least 81,000 Facebook users' accounts

The data was posted on an online forum by hackers claiming to have access to the personal data of 120 million accounts, offering to sell them at 10 cents per profile, the BBC writes.

Why the huge difference between the hackers' claimed 120 million accounts and perhaps just 81,000 accounts, according to Digital Shadows? The latest breach is said to be a outcome of malicious third-party browser extensions. "Malicious extensions can be used to intercept and manipulate the data passing through the browser", Holland said.

"We have contacted browser-makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores", explained Facebook executive Guy Rosen. Further, it was found that email addresses and phone numbers could have been extracted from 176,000 more accounts.

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The attacks, first reported by the BBC Russian Service, were focused heavily on users in Central and Eastern Europe, with minimum focus on people in the U.S.

It is believed that numerous user details came from Russian Federation and Ukraine-based Facebook users although some messages also originated from people in the United States, the UK and Brazil, the BBC notes.

The social network is also working with local authorities to remove the website where the sample data was posted. But as you'd expect, there are also more sensitive discussions, including "intimate correspondence between two lovers", as the BBC describes it.

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Personal shopping assistants, bookmarking applications and even mini-puzzle games are all on offer from various browsers such as Chrome, Opera and Firefox as third-party extensions.

According to Facebook, it was one such extension that quietly monitored victims' activity on the platform and sent personal details and private conversations back to the hackers.

Facebook is having a awful year for data privacy. This hack apparently has nothing to do with the most recent hack of Facebook data that was widely publicised in September.

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India tried its luck by asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the Cambridge Analytica breach, but we all know how that panned out.

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