Over 419 million Facebook users` phone numbers exposed online

Facebook said it was investigation how the data became exposed

The company told Engadget that the data present on the server is old and the information present on it was scrapped before Facebook cut off the feature that allowed its users to be found by their phone numbers.

Another month, another Facebook data breach.

On Wednesday, nearly 18 months after Facebook shut down the feature, TechCrunch reported that a security researcher had found the records of more than 400 million Facebook accounts, including phone numbers, resting in an unprotected database online.

More than 419m Facebook IDs and phone numbers were stored in an online server that was not password protected, the technology website TechCrunch reported.

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A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business that the security researcher reported the database to Facebook and the company launched an investigation. The researcher says each phone number was tied to a user's Facebook ID, which is a long string of numbers that is uniquely associated with a Facebook account. At the moment no one knows who owned the database. The database was found on an unsecured server - it wasn't password-protected - and was available for anyone to access.

But it could also allow a bad actor to pull up a host of private information on a person by inputting it into any number of public databases or with some legwork or by impersonation grant a hacker access to apps or even a bank account.

The records were likely amassed using a tool that Facebook disabled in April 2018 in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica controversy. The spokesperson said the dataset has been taken down and there is "no evidence" Facebook accounts were impacted.

Skilled attackers can often leverage a mobile phone number and information gained through data brokers or social media sites (such as home address, previous addresses, family members, etc) to persuade mobile phone carriers to transfer a target's phone number to a different phone.

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