Millions of Facebook users’ phone numbers exposed online

A server containing hundreds of millions of phone numbers associated with Facebook accounts has been discovered online.

According to TechCrunch, the server exposed more than 419 million records. U.S.-based users accounted for 133 million records while U.K. users made up 18 million. Another 50 million records were linked to Facebook users in Vietnam.

Each data entry included a user’s unique Facebook ID as well as the phone number linked to their account. Some of the records even included the user’s name and gender as well.

The server, discovered by security researcher Sanyam Jain, was not protected by a password and included information on high-profile users including celebrities.

It currently remains unclear who the server belonged to and when the data was collected. After contacting the web host, TechCrunch says the database was pulled offline.

Facebook spokesperson Jay Nancarrow said that the data was likely collected prior to Facebook’s decision to restrict access to user phone numbers more than a year ago.

“This data set is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers,” Nancarrow said. “The data set has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised.”

The incident comes a little more than a month after Facebook was hit with a $5 billion fine by the FTC following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also argued this week that serious jail time should be on the table for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly lied to the American people about privacy. I think he ought to be held personally accountable, which is everything from financial fines to—and let me underline this—the possibility of a prison term. Because he hurt a lot of people,” Wyden said.

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H/T TechCrunch

Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.