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Facebook investigates potential massive data breach

Facebook is facing a potential data leak from 267 million of its users, revealed by a cybersecurity researcher who found them exposed on hacker forums.

“We are looking at this problem, but we believe that this is information obtained before the changes made in recent years to better protect people's data”, a Facebook spokesman for Agence France-Presse said on Thursday (December 19).

According to researcher Bob Diachenko and the Comparitech site, the identifiers, telephone numbers and names of 267 million users, mainly American, were freely available on the Internet. “Dark Web”, enough to carry out large spam and phishing (phishing) operations.

Read also “Data portability”: under pressure, Facebook responds

“Criminals in Vietnam”

The database, which went online on a hackers' forum a week ago, was no longer accessible on Thursday following the alert by Bob Diachenko, according to Comparitech. The researcher believes that this data was recovered by “Criminals in Vietnam”, thanks to a system of automated robots that copy all the data they manage to access.

In September, phone numbers linked to more than 400 million Facebook accounts were found stored online, at the mercy of malicious use, according to US website TechCrunch. Facebook had partially confirmed this information, ensuring that, according to its checks, the number of accounts concerned was only about half of the 419 million mentioned.

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