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Hackers Published Private Messages From 81,000 Facebook Users

03 November, 2018, 17:37 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • REUTERS  Hannibal Hanschke

The BBC reports that a shady group had reached out to them attempting to sell Facebook data on what the hackers claim, dubiously, is 120 million accounts.

The hackers said they obtained the information through a browser extension. However, with so many extensions available, malicious parties have many options: compromise existing software through insiders or poor developer security; release their own seemingly benign plug-ins that provide a useful function alongside snooping; or buy extensions from developers and then update them to include malware.

After performing some investigation, security firm Digital Shadows confirmed that about 81,000 profile had private messages.

The victims seems to primarily stem from Russian Federation and Ukraine, however affected accounts come from all over the world including the UK, US, Brazil and beyond.


"Data from a further 176,000 accounts was also made available, although some of the information - including email addresses and phone numbers - could have been scraped from members who had not hidden it", continued the BBC report.

The BBC Russian service contacted the five Russian users whose messages were uploaded by FBSaler and the post were theirs. We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts. This included chats from different users about a recent Depeche Mode concert, photographs of a recent holiday, complaints about a son-in-law as well as intimate conversation between two lovers on Facebook.

Personal shopping assistants, bookmarking applications and even mini-puzzle games are all on offer from various browsers such as Chrome, Opera and Firefox as third-party extensions.

Specifically, personal shopping assistants, task-specific applications, and even game extension were reported as the reason why hackers were able to infiltrate the victim's social media account. But Rick Holland, Digital Shadows' chief information security officer and Vice President of strategy, told Gizmodo that they still don't know what browser extension or extensions might be responsible. The leaked data has since been taken down from the site it had originally been published on.

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