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Over 115,000 People In Malta Fall Victim To 2019 Facebook Leak

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Over 115,000 people in Malta have had their Facebook profile’s personal information uploaded to a hackers website, a Business Insider report has revealed.

The data dump, which was published on Saturday, including the data of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries. The data includes phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses.

A report by the Times of Malta identified that 115,366 people in Malta have been affected. That’s around 23% of the population.

Malta is among the worst affected in the EU. However, it still falls short of Italy (59%), the Netherlands (31%), Luxembourg (30%), France (29%), Ireland (29%), Belgium (27%), Finland (25%), and Spain (23.2%).

Alon Gala, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, first discovered the leak in January when an automated bot that could provide phone numbers for hundreds of millions of Facebook users in exchange for a fee. 

It seems it may have been used in the data leak from Saturday.

“In early 2020 a vulnerability that enabled seeing the phone number linked to every Facebook account was exploited, creating a database containing the information 533m users across all countries. It was severely under-reported and today the database became much more worrisome,” he said.

The data is believed to be more than a year old, but security experts say the information could still be used by criminals to commit identity fraud. 

Facebook has since downplayed the leak, dismissing vulnerability issues.

“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” Facebook spokesperson Liz Shepherd said in a tweet. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”

Malta reports a high regular use of social media, particularly Facebook, with an estimated 79% using social media daily.

Malta’s Police are yet to comment on the issue.

 

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Julian doesn’t like to talk about himself. But if he did, he would let you know that he’s into anything that has got to do with politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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