The Great Leak

Privacy Apr 14, 2021

On April 3rd, a twitter user came across a huge database of Facebook records that was leaked for free.

These records comprised of personal data for around 533 millions users. Amongst those were data for around 848,558 accounts nearly 99.6% of Facebook users in Mauritius and around 67.04% of the population.

It may seem scary at first to see all of one's personal data to get leaked like this but it's not. This leak was from the Cambridge Analytica days and at that time already public data was available through the Open Graph Platform of Facebook. So, the "hacker" just had to "scrape" Facebook for all of these already public information. If your Facebook profile did not show your phone number, date of birth, address, etc publicly before 2019 then it's most likely your data does not form part of this leak.

However, this is still a serious issue as all of this data is now in a single searchable repo. Bad actors will certainly use the information for social engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing. So, expect more phone calls from a Nigerian Prince.

Have You been Pwned?

Now, just to make sure you can check whether your data forms part of this leak. Drop your phone number below and you'll know. Rest assured no one can see the result unless they have your number.


N.B. I'm a bit late to the party. Turns out the haveibeenpwned website now offers the ability to search if phone numbers are leaked. Have a look at it, since unlike the above, haveibeenpwned.com works internationally and has a huge database of other breaches as well.

Sources

Aditya Bholah

One of the curious chaps who's into tech, AI, physics and humanity.