Report: Messages from 81K Facebook accounts for sale by hackers


If you needed more evidence that Facebook is not having a good year, a new report once again calls into question the social networking giant’s commitment to data privacy and security. This time, an outfit of hackers is claiming to have access to tens of thousands of private messages on the platform, according to the BBC Russian Service.

The messages from more than 81,000 Facebook accounts were put up for sale recently on an internet forum, the BBC reported. The company enlisted cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows to verify the hack, which it did.

While the majority of hacked accounts originate in Ukraine and Russia, many of the users are based in the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil, to name a few affected countries.

“The seller, ‘FBSaler’ advertised the accounts on BlackHat SEO, and online forum primarily used for sharing tips and tools on search engine optimization and online marketing techniques,” a post on Digital Shadow’s website outlined.

Facebook blames ‘malicious extensions’ in web browsers

“We have contacted browser-makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores,” Facebook executive Guy Rosen was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts,” he said.

Facebook hack: What should you do?

To safeguard yourself online, it’s good to follow the usual steps of internet data security, such as:

  • Never reuse passwords: Secure your account by using a unique password that you don’t use any place else
  • Don’t overshare: Your data can be used and abused
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know: You cannot easily safeguard yourself from someone once you’re connected to them on Facebook
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