Motherboard (Vice) reports that Alon Gal, a security researcher, has discovered that Facebook users’ phone numbers are being sold at Telegram. The seller has used the Telegram bot. The database was stolen during a security issue that Facebook had fixed in 2019. Please tell that the database also contains information of more than 6 lakh Indian users. Apart from this, many other countries are included, whose entire list has been shared via tweet.
Few days ago a user created a Telegram bot allowing users to query the database for a low fee, enabling people to find the phone numbers linked to a very large portion of Facebook accounts.
This obviously has a huge impact on privacy. pic.twitter.com/lM1omndDET
– Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) January 14, 2021
Now comes the reason why Telegram bot is being used. The report says that if a person has another person’s Facebook user ID, they can find that person’s phone number, and vice versa, if they have that person’s phone number, they can use their Facebook user’s ID can be found. To unlock an information through the bot, a credit will be incurred, for which the person has to pay a price of $ 20, which is about 1,450 rupees in India. According to the report, the data is also being sold in bulk quantities, for which the cost of 10,000 credits is $ 5,000 i.e. approximately Rs 3,65,000.
Gal has also shared some screenshots. One of these shows that the bot was activated on January 12, 2021, but the database being sold is of 2019. However, it is clear that users do not change their phone number in Facebook for a long time. This also shows that Facebook has historically been collecting phone numbers of all other users, including users who have started two-factor authentication.
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