Facebook: The instability that led Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to be down for a few hours this Monday (4) is not the only problem facing Mark Zuckerberg’s company at the moment. Data from 1.5 billion users of the social network may have been collected and would be for sale on the dark web.
According to the Privacy Affairs website, the package went on sale on an online cybercriminal forum in September. It can be purchased in full or in small slices — a reduced version, with information from 1 million people, sells for US$ 5,000 (R$ 27,000 at the current price).
The ad author claims that the compilation includes name, email address, phone number, gender, location, and user ID, all up-to-date and truthful. However, the seller has been confronted by other forum participants who claim to have paid and been denied access to the information.
He also said that the data was obtained through web scraping, a technique for automated collection of publicly available information on social networks, websites and other online platforms. The man claims to represent a group of data scrapers that has been operating for four years and has served more than 18,000 customers.
In a note to TecMundo, the company stated that it is already investigating the allegations. According to Jason Grosse, a Facebook spokesman, the platform has also sent “a removal request to the forum in which the alleged data is being announced”.
Scams and scams
Information collected via data scraping on Facebook can be used maliciously if it falls into the hands of malicious people. With the phone number, for example, cybercriminals have a chance to send fake messages posing as banks and other institutions.
One way to avoid scraping collection, often used to fuel fraud, is to increase account privacy on the social network. Do not make your key data public and avoid inserting them in quizzes, games and surveys on the platform, especially when requested by unknown sources.