81,000 Facebook Accounts Hacked

A lot of group hackers have intercepted account information and personal private messages from at least 81,000 Facebook user accounts reported by BBC Russian Services. Back in September, some of the data was posted for sale on online forums. BBC even confirmed with five users that the data hackers have is theirs.
Don’t get worried you just take few steps to protect. Let’s take a glimpse at the details and then I’ll let you know my opinion for the same.

1. Facebook has not been Hacked
Initially, you should have to note that no one has gained access to Facebook’s servers or else leaked data directly from Facebook. Compromise is a malicious browser extension is the only source. It has not been identified which extension the culprit is (even not from Facebook or any other browser). But the fact that they got aware of it means it has been removed from the browser stores probably, in the first place if it was ever on them.

2. No Record has been Reported, Stolen
The hackers said that they have accounts details from Facebook accounts. This consists of names, phone numbers and email addresses. Always remember that data can be gleaned without any sort of hacking on Facebook.
Note- The report doesn’t say that the hackers have a username or password.

3. Russian’s Confirmed that their Personal Messages had been Stolen
Of the supposed 81000 users compromised, the BBC Russian services contacted five and remembered all of whom were Russian, and they even confirmed that the stolen messages were legitimate too. It doesn’t appear that anyone from any other place like the U.S. or the U.K. has ever confirmed that their messages appear in the hacker’s database.

4. In the BBC Piece, Law Enforcement Officials are not Cited
Again, reached out to BBC Russian Service that this is a hacking group (probably Russian) and even confirmed some private messages from Russian Facebook users appeared in the database of aggregated Facebook data. Usually, whenever detected that there is a credible cybersecurity threat, you do have investigation bureaus, and government organisations are weighing in and suggesting users how to rectify the damage to stay safe. Though the BBC Russian Service article lists few independent security firms and it doesn’t appear that any of the government agencies have to bulletin this as the major problem.

The browser extensions you install, be wary of it. This is just a cautionary tale. Don’t forget to stick to extensions and the plugins that come from the official browser stores such as the Chrome Web Store or the Firefox Add-ons page.

Neither it seems that this group of hackers has anything super salacious nor does it even sound that they have exposed or exploited a significant vulnerability in Facebook’s security. The most peculiar to me is that they have paid attention to Facebook users in their messaging and the BBC Russian Service. If by chance a malicious browser extension were about to enter your system, the amount of private information that it could compromise would extend far beyond the Facebook. It can easily capture text or take screenshots. I will personally suggest you always be wary and discerning of all third-party browser add-ons.

Jack Tucker is a security expert and he writes about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and is working at norton.com/setup

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